Carmelo Close to being traded

Rumors are that the Denver Nuggets are willing to talk to tother teams about Carmelo. Not sure what this means for Orlando. If he wants to win this is probably his best chance. We know stat's guy opinion on 'Melo and we know percentage's guy opinion on 'Melo. In the end both are right and both are wrong. He is a scorer. Yes he shoots a lot. Yes he could pass more. Yes he could defend more. Yes he rebounds pretty good. Stats guy will say he scores a ton. Percentage guy will say he shoots a lot. However, king of percentage and PER himself John Hollinger has this to say about Melo (prior to last seasons beginning):

"2008-09 season: Since the Nuggets had such a good season, a lot of people assumed Anthony did, too. But that really wasn't the case. That perception landed him a third-team All-NBA spot, but he struggled with an elbow problem for much of the season, and his scoring and shooting percentages significantly declined from his averages over the previous three seasons.

While he hit a career-best 37.1 percent on 3-pointers and attempted more than ever, he had trouble when there was more company around. Anthony slumped to 48.2 percent on inside shots after hitting in the mid-50s the three previous seasons. From the right side of the floor, where he prefers to operate on isolations, he hit just 33.8 percent of his 2-pointers -- the fifth-worst mark of any player with more than 100 attempts (see Baron Davis comment).

Fortunately, he played superbly when it mattered most. His elbow appeared to start feeling better around the beginning of March, and from that point forward Denver rolled. Anthony averaged 27.2 points per game in the playoffs and added to his impressive litany of last second-shots with a 3-point dagger to win Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals in Dallas. Over the past four seasons, he's been better in these situations than any player in basketball, Kobe and LeBron included.

Dig deeper, and there were some other positive signs. For one, he stopped cherry-picking. Anthony used to earn two lay-ups a game by taking off early to the other end, but he's stopped doing that to focus more on defense. He boosted both his assist ratio (12.1) and rebound rate (11.5) for the fourth straight season, and cribbed his penchant for charging fouls (39 last season, compared to 52 in '07-08) -- evidence that he's focusing on the finer points of his game.

Scouting report: Anthony paid more attention to his D last season, but let's not start the All-Defense campaign just yet. He continues to stand around too often and doesn't help enough, and his lateral movement will never be more than average. His size can be an asset against jump shooters, however, and he had some good moments guarding Kobe Bryant in the conference finals. Anthony exhibits good instincts in the passing lanes, but he tends to pick up personals and limit his minutes with foul trouble. He also has a bad habit of jogging back on defense if he doesn't get a call at the offensive end.

Of course, Anthony isn't out there for his defense. He is one of the game's premier scorers because of his combination of offensive skills. At 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, he can physically overpower smaller wings on the blocks, but his shooting and dribbling ability allow him to take bigger opponents on the perimeter. He demonstrates particularly good instincts around the basket, where he makes quick spins that leave defenders in the dust. His power game also earns him a steady diet of free throws -- only eight small forwards had a better free-throw rate.

Anthony habitually forces shots when things aren't going well, often using a move in which he catches the ball, stares at the floor for a second, then rushes a contested J into the front of the rim. He did a much better job of curbing that tendency last season, but it still rears its ugly head now and again.

An underrated aspect of his game is his rebounding. Anthony placed eighth among small forwards in rebound rate (11.5) and often hops right back up to tip in his own misses from short range. Another area in which he excels is rebounding missed free throws at the offensive end; Utah's Mehmet Okur may be the only player who is better at it.

2009-10 outlook: With his elbow seemingly healed and his basketball IQ having taken several leaps forward, Anthony appears poised to have his best season. The improved 3-point stroke and strong finish last season both point in that direction as well, as do two other factors: He's now 25 and should be hitting his prime, and he didn't suit up for Team USA for the fourth straight summer.

Unlike his Class of 2004 brethren, Anthony doesn't have an opt-out in 2010. He can't opt out until 2011 at the earliest, so the Nuggets will have him for at least two more seasons. During that time, they can look forward to a scoring average in the mid-20s; a shooting percentage that bounces back into the high 40s; and, most likely, a trip to the All-Star Game."

Some criticism and some praise. I think he would be perfect as a the number two in Orlando. But we will see what happens.

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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