You’ve seen the stuff floating around out there. Carmelo Anthony is no longer part of the Houston Rockets’ plans. The Sixers have an open roster spot. Elton Brand is reportedly kicking the tires on bringing him in.

Melo is at the tail end of a Hall of Fame career. He’s averaged 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists over the course of 16 NBA seasons. He’s a ten-time All-Star, NCAA champion, and three-time USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.

He’s just not a great fit for the Sixers.

You’re talking about signing a 34-year-old isolation scorer and putting him on the second unit of a motion offense team. You certainly don’t need a starter, not with Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid running the show. You’d be asking a guy who has taken about 18 shots per game over the course of his career to play second fiddle on a unit that would likely look something like this:

  1. Markelle Fultz
  2. Landry Shamet
  3. Carmelo Anthony
  4. Mike Muscala
  5. Amir Johnson

Plus, you’ve got first round draft pick Zhaire Smith coming back eventually, and Furkan Korkmaz has actually given you some nice minutes in the last couple of games. You want Carmelo just taking the ball on the wing and shooting contested 20 footers?

Melo had four double-digit scoring games and six single-digit scoring games with the Rockets. His last offering was a 1-11 output in a 98-80 loss against Oklahoma City. He went 3-9 in the prior game, putting up possessions like this one:

Carmelo made a living off of stuff like that during his prime, but analytics people now hate the low percentage long two. Even if he steps it back five feet, he’s not a great three-point shooter, hitting at 34.3% this season and 34.7% for his career. For context, Korkmaz is hitting at 42.1% on a smaller sample size while Landry Shamet, a rookie, is shooting 33.8% from three.

So I don’t think you’d be getting a huge increase in that department by bringing Anthony in, when you could probably just ride with your young guys and scan the buyout market for shooting if you aren’t satisfied in a few months’ time. You’ve also got Markelle running point on the second unit now, so you’d like to see him continue to improve as a shot taker and shot creator, instead of a deferential player who just dumps it off to Melo so he can get his 12-14 shots per game.

It’s not to say that Melo is selfish, because I certainly don’t think he is, he’s just played most of his career as a high usage #1 scoring option. That’s what he was in New York, and so obviously when he went to Oklahoma City last season it was the first time he really had to find a way to mesh with guys like Russell Westbrook and Paul George, who also liked to have the ball in their hands.

If you go back to Carmelo’s last three or four years in New York, he was the main guy, for sure. It wasn’t Kristaps Porzingis or Derrick Rose or Andrea Bargnani or Courtney Lee. It wasn’t JR Smith. Melo was taking something like 20 shots per game on those teams. You can’t do that at 34 years old on a team with James Harden and Chris Paul, and you can’t do it on a team where you need Embiid, Butler, Redick, and Simmons to each get their share of touches. Can you picture Anthony swinging the ball around and running the floor with those guys? That’s just not his game and it never has been.

The other thing about Melo is that he’s not a great defender. The Rockets defensive rating was a dismal 119.2 with Anthony on the court. That doesn’t fly on a Brett Brown-coached team. It’s also worth pointing out that the Rockets aren’t the same team defensively without Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, so of course it was more than just Melo that was ailing the Rockets.

Here’s a graphic that I pulled from First Take while writing this article:

Pretty rough.

Carmelo’s individual defensive rating of 111 was among the worst on the team, ahead of only Michael Carter-Williams when looking at players in the regular rotation. He also had a -9 net rating and the team’s worst assist ratio. The squad was a -6.3 with Carmelo on the court and a +2.7 when he was off the court.

I don’t think that Melo is incapable of being a role player during the twilight of his career, but it’s hard to make the adjustment when you were the main guy for something like 14 straight years. On the other side of the spectrum is a dude like Kyle Korver, a catch and shoot three-point specialist who would probably make a lot more sense as a second unit scoring option, even at 37 years old.

No disrespect to Melo at all, because he was a phenomenal player for all of those years and he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. You see all sorts of players taking to social media to defend him and poo-poo the Rockets for the way they treated him.

I just don’t think Melo fits on this team, and I don’t think the Sixers necessarily need him right now.