To phrase it nicely, the Los Angeles clippers are historically an awful franchise. Granted some of their struggles over the years have been due to catastrophic injuries, the clippers some how still manage to under achieve even when they have All-star studded lineups with Chris Paul, Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin.
Carmelo is fed up in New York, and has had a few lackluster recent seasons to say the least. Maybe a trade to Los Angeles could be the savings grace both Carmelo and the Clippers desperately need.
You cannot expect Carmelo Anthony to carry a team to the playoffs, let alone be a title contender. It has been proven in Denver and New York time and time again.
Even when Carmelo had players like Kenyon Martin, Allen Iverson, and Chauncey Billups, his Nuggets teams could not come out of the West. When Carmelo was paired with the likes of Amare Stoudemire in New York, he still could not do much better. And even today, on an older team riddled with yesterdays superstars like Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Brandon Jennings, Melo is barely leading a playoff team.
Now I didn’t write this article to bash Carmelo. While his defense and ball-sharing are poor, he is still undoubtably one of the most skilled scorers the game has ever seen. What I am trying to illustrate is that Carmelo NEEDS MORE HELP.
Now the Los Angeles Clippers might be a solid playoff team in the West, however the harsh reality is that there is zero chance of their current roster upsetting the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs this year. The Warriors have put together a legitimate super team(sorry D Rose), almost assuredly the most talented team of all time.
The Clippers are in need of a go to scorer at the end of games. Let’s go through who they currently utilize in some of those situations:
JJ Reddick: While he might be a great 3 point shooter, that is about all you can rely on him for in terms of scoring in the clutch. Unless it is a set play for a three-point shot, don’t go to JJ.
Blake Griffin: Blake Griffin is not a bad option to have at the end of games. He can go strong to the hole and sometimes hit a nice mid range jumper. However, in the NBA having a player who can create his own high quality shot off the dribble in the clutch is a must for good teams.
Jamal Crawford: J Crossover has some of the best handles in the league, and a deadly knack for completing four-point plays. Crawford is quite a conundrum because he has hit some clutch shots in his career, but if you look at his shot selection (even on the ones he has made) it is usually pretty terrible. While his tough-shot-making-ability is great and all, it would be much more efficient to use a player who can take and make quality shots at the end of games instead. Plus I wouldn’t want to put my team’s livelihood in the hands of someone who admitted to not having worked on his game in the off-season until about his 10th year in the league.
Chris Paul: Leader, high IQ, quality shooter, great passer, tough defense- everything you could want in a point guard. Using Paul to handle the ball at the ends of games is great, but when it comes to being a go to scorer, it will always remain true that it is much harder to get a quality shot as a 6 foot point guard; as compared to a 6 foot 8inch tall forward (unless your last name is Curry).
By Adding Carmelo Anthony the Clippers are getting a proven clutch time performer who can take and make big shots. He can use his height and skill to get a quality shot that even Chris Paul or Blake Griffin cannot.
Carmelo is most efficient when he plays with high quality point guards, such as Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups; so playing with Chris Paul should come as easy to him as looking off his Knicks teammates when a double team comes. Additionally Carmelo is not exactly known as being a lock down defender, so having someone like Deandre Jordan to save his butt on defense would be a dream come true.
If you haven’t given up reading this article yet, then you’re in luck because I haven’t even touched the best reason why the Clippers NEED Carmelo. The entire Clippers organization needs Melo because without him, the Clippers will lose Chris Paul and Blake Griffin; setting off a spiral back into the old days of Clippers failure.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are free agents next summer 2017. Both have had good individual stints with the Clippers but you can tell they want to win. It would not surprise me if both left the Clippers in the off-season, barring some type of rekindling in Los Angeles. Carmelo could be that rekindling.
Carmelo could play the small forward position, alongside Griffin and Jordan to create a formidable front court. Melo would add necessary shooting and production from the three which the Clippers have lacked for as long as I can remember. He would give the Clippers a legitimate chance at matching up with any team they face on any given night (yes, even against the almighty Golden State Warriors super team).
Even if the Clippers did not come out of the Western Conference as Champions this season, it would invigorate new hope. Possibly resulting in the resigning of their current stars (Griffin and Paul) or even creating a trend that their side of Los Angeles is the new place for free agents to go.
Whatever your stance on Melo or the Clippers is, you have to admit both are not in ideal situations right now. Coming together may be the last chance they both have at success in the near future. So I say its time for Doc Rivers to swallow his pride and make a move, no matter who or what it involves (that means you, Austin).