The Cleveland Cavaliers need instant offense off the bench and signing Carmelo Anthony could help that issue.
The Cleveland Cavaliers need scoring help off the bench. That is not a debate. How they can best go about it, well that is. Should the Cavs have kept Kevin Love? Who knows, but maybe not, with how bad he’s been in Miami. Should the Cavs have done a better job of not trading away Collin Sexton or Ochai Agbaji when it came to the Donovan Mitchell trade? Maybe. Should the Cavs have flipped Caris LeVer’ts expiring contract for someone else, like maybe Gordon Hayward? Yeah, probably.
But those are moments that are gone. We can’t get them back, so we can’t lament over what wasn’t done, only what we can do, and what the Cavs can do is sign someone. One of the most obvious names that could help the Cavs score off the bench is future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony, who played just last season and put up very good numbers offensively as a reservist.
Anthony played 69 games last season, averaging 26 minutes per game while compiling shooting splits of .441/.375/.830 while massing a true shooting percentage of .579. That would put Anthony 4th right now on the Cavs of all players who had played more than 500 minutes.
Anthony’s not a great defender, especially at 38 years old, but he was only a -0.8 defender with his defensive box plus-minus, tied for his second-best outing in his career. And his previous team, Los Angeles Lakers, was not a good defensive team last season, rating just 21st out of 30 teams. So if Anthony were to play alongside Caris LeVert, Cedi Osman, Dean Wade, and Ricky Rubio, Anthony should put up much better defensive stats.
Signing Carmelo Anthony is a desperation move but the Cleveland Cavaliers are desperate
The Cavs are desperate for scoring off the bench. Cleveland is just 25th in scoring this season, with 112.0 points per game. This is actually up from last season’s 107.8, but the Cavs still were no higher than 25th in the league. So the team is no better off than a year before.
The Cavs shot 35.5% from three last season and were 15th, attempting 32.8 per game. The Cavs are 12 this season, shooting 36.5% from behind the arc, but are taking just 31.6 attempts per game.
While Anthony isn’t a Ray Allen from behind the line, he did shoot 39% from three over his last three seasons in Portland and Los Angeles, proving that he can hit from volume from three-point. Considering the Cavs need a sure-fire scorer off the bench and help from three, Anthony does check off both boxes.
The Cavs and Anthony would both benefit from the pairing, as the Cavs would get some much-needed bench scoring and Anthony could help contribute to a potential title run.