With news of Joe Johnson‘s opportunity to workout with the Brooklyn Nets, amongst other teams, the front office is poised with a difficult question. Should the team bring back “Iso Joe”, Carmelo Anthony, or should they look elsewhere following Wilson Chandler‘s suspension?
In case you needed reaffirmation that NBA offseasons are truly unpredictable, let me enlighten you with the most recent debate amongst Brooklyn Nets fans on Twitter: Should the team look to sign ex-Net Joe Johnson, or should they bring in Carmelo Anthony?
Yes, this is a debate taken place in 2019, no, we have not entered an alternate universe, and once again, yes, as aforementioned NBA offseasons don’t make any sense and or chaotic but who really cares? We love them.
Following news of Wilson Chandler’s suspension—heck, even before that—fans of the organization were no strangers in taking to their favorite social media platform to campaign for either of these all-time great scorers. But with one spot hypothetically available and other players across the league made readily available at their disposal, what should the Brooklyn Nets do?
Well, in a perfect world this situation never comes into fruition. It might not be the most popular take but Wilson Chandler brought a certain edginess and grit to this roster, the importance of having that—especially come April-June—can’t really be understated.
Moreover, he actually is an efficient perimeter threat; in 36 games with the Sixers last year in which he played 26.4 minutes a game he shot 39.0 percent from three on 3.3 attempts per contest, there’s definitely value in that.
Given the logistics of the situation, we don’t know what will transpire with Chandler’s contract. But if he is indeed waived, the possibility of signing a Carmelo Anthony or Joe Johnson expeditely increase—so let’s get back to the debate at hand.
Joe Johnson was in the latter years of his prime during his first run in Brooklyn and he came to town SEVEN years ago. He made an All-Star team in his second season with the organization and was relatively steady during his tenure, but again, he’s now 38-years-old, how much is left in the tank and how much can he contribute to a contender?
Yes, he is fresh off what was a very impressive run this season in the Big 3; but let’s be honest with ourselves, though it was fun watching “Iso Joe” do what he does best on a national platform again, him dominating that league doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s ready to perform on an NBA roster to the same degree as a Carmelo Anthony.
Speaking of, NBA Twitter’s petition to get Carmelo Anthony on an NBA roster might end up paying dividends. His last two stints in the association have been, well, place whatever negative adjective you want here, they’ve been bad. He struggled to find consistency and a role in Oklahoma City, and his brief time spent in Houston was even worse.
There was that game he went 9/12 from the field for 28 points, against the Nets at Barclays no less; but there also were those contests where he went 3/10 (x2), 2/12, and his final game in a Rockets uniform, 1/11. However, this was never going to be a match made in Heaven for the two parties involved.
Melo’s game vasty contrasts Daryl Morey’s offensive model, but Anthony did try to incorporate himself with how Houston operates in a half-court setting. More than half of his shots came via the three-point line, but again, he struggled, shooting just 32.8 percent on 6.4 attempts per game.
Unfortunately for Anthony, it’s probable that GM’s around the League are basing their opinion off his most recent performances as a Houston Rocket; but those 10 games, be them rough as they were, shouldn’t demote him entirely out of the NBA. He still has value to an NBA roster as a flamethrower off the bench, but his consistency and effort on the defensive end will have to be present.
That will likely act as the primary point for those who oppose such a transaction alongside deterring the growth of the Nets’ young talent, and though that argument is valid and warranted, it’s likely that at this stage in his NBA career, Carmelo Anthony will do whatever it takes to secure a roster spot and that would more than benefit the Brooklyn Nets.
When the playoffs start to rear their head and rotations begin to shorten, having a guy that is a “walking bucket” to call upon off the bench to end a scoring slump has its benefits. If he can build a rapport with Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan on this team’s second unit, they could turn into a lethal trio for Atkinson and company.
Again, this acquisition would likely mean fewer shot opportunities for the likes of Kurucs, Musa, and Claxton, or the friendly-competition for looks could benefit all parties involved. Though each player has their own upside, we don’t know if they’ll make those proverbial next steps when this team is looking to contend in 2021, or even next spring, given how this season pans out.
What’s also noteworthy is his friendships with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who are both open to the prospect of Anthony joining them in Brooklyn this upcoming season. He won’t in any shape or form negatively affect the culture that has been built by this organization, in fact, he could help push it forward knowing this could be his final spot in his illustrious basketball career.
If Sean Marks‘ decision does come down to Joe Johnson or Carmelo Anthony, the latter sounds more appealing. That’s not a knock on the caliber of talent “Joe Jesus” was during his Hall of Fame career, he’s 38-years-old and Melo makes more sense position-wise for this roster. Put Melo in an NBA jersey again!