Stein: Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, More Vets 'Might Have to Wait' on FA Contracts

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 22, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets boxes out Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game on December 25, 2021 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Several high-profile NBA veterans reportedly may "have to wait until the season starts" to find a team in free agency because of a lack of available roster spots around the league.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported Monday it's a group that includes Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard.

The NBA offseason was actually humming along at a pretty nice pace until Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant requested a trade in late June.

Movement has slowed to a crawl since then for a variety of reasons. For veteran free agents, there's a lack of roster space combined with teams trying to maintain financial flexibility for the final wave of moves after the KD situation is finally settled.

It's better to keep some roster space available in case someone unexpected hits the trade or free-agent markets during what will likely be a whirlwind of movement in the final weeks before the regular season tips off than lock in a veteran role player right now.

That's not to say players from that list of former All-Stars can't help a squad in 2022-23.

Anthony, after a few years struggling in a complementary role, has found a comfort zone as stretch 4 secondary scorer. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 threes while shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc for the Los Angeles Lakers last season.

Here are the numbers other members of the group posted in 2021-22:

  • Griffin: 6.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.9 APG in 17.1 minutes
  • Cousins: 9.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.5 APG in 15.0 minutes
  • Aldridge: 12.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.0 BPG in 22.3 minutes
  • Howard: 6.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG in 16.2 minutes

All five could end up playing meaningful minutes for a contender during the upcoming campaign, even if they don't sign until the early stages of the regular season.

It's impossible to know exactly when the NBA moves will heat up again because so far Durant and the Nets have dug in their heels. Brooklyn is hoping the four-time scoring champion will eventually "soften" his stance and return to the organization, per Stein.

In turn, the waiting game continues for some of the league's most recognizable names.