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John Wall: Nuggets Are Carmelo Anthony's Best Landing Spot for NBA Farewell Tour

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony looks on against the Utah Jazz in the third quarter of the Nuggets' 116-102 victory in Game 6 of the teams' NBA basketball first-round Western Conference playoff series on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

If Carmelo Anthony is looking for a farewell tour a la Dwyane Wade, Washington Wizards star John Wall believes the 10-time All-Star needs to go back to where it all began.

"The only way it is really going to work for Melo is if he goes back to the Nuggets," Wall told NBC Sports' Chase Hughes. "It has to be a franchise you built something with."

Taken third overall in the 2003 NBA draft, Anthony spent the first eight years of his career in Denver. He earned four All-Star while establishing himself as one of the league's most prolific scorers. 

The Nuggets were in the midst of an eight-year playoff drought when Anthony arrived. He led them to the postseason in each of his seven full seasons with the team, reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2009 before losing to the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Though Anthony ultimately made his way to the Big Apple, he once chose Denver over the possibility of teaming up with friends and fellow 2003 draftees LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. While James and Wade tacked on only three-year extensions on top of their respective rookie deals in 2006, Anthony signed for the max of five years.

"I wanted to stay in Denver," Anthony previously told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck. "Like, I believed in Denver so much that I felt like we had an opportunity to do some things out there."

That deal wound up costing Anthony the opportunity to team create a superteam with James and Wade in the summer of 2010. Instead, Chris Bosh completed the Big Three in Miami, and the rest is history. James, Wade and Bosh led the Heat to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances, winning a pair of titles in the process. Anthony, meanwhile, has yet to reach the Finals in his 16-year career.

After spending seven seasons with the New York Knicks, Anthony has been a part of four organizations in the last two years. More notably, the 35-year-old hasn't played since November 2018 after he and the Houston Rockets went their separate ways.

Trainer Chris Brickley made waves last month by going on The Breakfast Club and saying Anthony was seeking a farewell tour. Anthony went on ESPN's First Take last week and, among other things, denied that he was looking for a proper sendoff.

While Anthony himself just wants to play in the NBA again, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is in favor of a farewell tour:

Damian Lillard @Dame_Lillard

#VoteForMeloFareWellSeason #StopPlayinMelo

Anthony made it clear on First Take that his ultimate goal is to win a championship, even if it means coming off the bench. Of note, Denver (54-28) finished with the second-best record in the West last season.