There is only one week to go until Oklahoma City tips off the regular season, and the excitement continues to build now that preseason play is over for the Thunder. The greatest concern for this team at the moment is chemistry and how well the new additions will be able to fit in, specifically with Russell Westbrook. The latest acquisition for the Thunder is Carmelo Anthony, who will wear jersey #7.
Carmelo Anthony found his way into the NBA as the third overall pick by the Denver Nuggets in the 2003 NBA Draft just a few months after winning the NCAA Basketball National Championship at Syracuse as a freshman. Melo spent eight seasons with the Nuggets before being traded to the New York Knicks, where he spent his next seven seasons.
Anthony arrived in Oklahoma City this last offseason via a trade with the Knicks that sent Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott to New York. What is interesting about this trade is the fact that Melo had to waive his no-trade clause in order to be moved, which tells us that he specifically chose to come to the Thunder. This was encouraging considering Anthony’s particular play-style and how it doesn’t exactly match up with what the Thunder need to do this season.
For his career, Melo averages 24.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.1 steals in 36.2 minutes per game. While Anthony is definitely in the latter years of his illustrious career in the league, he still has plenty of star power. Anthony is a capable offensive weapon, and he will drastically help the Thunder spread the floor, something the team was incapable of doing at all last season.
In just a few preseason games, Melo has already looked as if he has bought in to a team mentality as he has moved away from his ball-dominant isolation style of play that he is known for, and he has focused more on spreading the floor, moving the ball, and finding the open man. While critics are skeptical, Thunder fans are enthusiastic about what this team is going to be able to accomplish this season, but only time will tell how far this squad will be able to go.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.