Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin remain independent as NBA training camps loom

  • Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Blake Griffin are all free agents as the NBA season approaches.
  • Combined, the trio have 24 All-Star appearances and more than $700 million in career earnings and have had productive seasons recently.
  • All three may be intriguing in the late-season flyers for the contenders, but they may also be getting out of the rapidly changing NBA.

With NBA training camps, which kick off September 24th, just around the corner, some notable free agents are still on the market.

In particular, three famous Hall of Famers remain unsigned – Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Blake Griffin.

While all three are in their 30s — Anthony is 38, Howard is 36, and Griffin is 33 — they nonetheless have combined resumes: 24 All-Star appearances and 19 All-Major League picks For professionals. They are three of the 10 highest paid players of all time, with a combined career earnings of over $700 million.

Although they are past their prime times, they have also had fruitful seasons lately.

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony screaming while on the field in 2022.

Carmelo Anthony.

Phelan M Ebenhak / Associated Press photos

Anthony was a staple on the bench at the Los Angeles Lakers last year, occasionally carrying offensively flawed units. He averaged 13.7 points per game while shooting 37.5% of three in more than five attempts per game.

While Anthony is certainly incapable of being a top scorer for extended periods, as he was in his prime, his individual shooting and scoring prowess can still support bench units.

Anthony started his hot run last year, averaging 16 points on 50% shooting, and 52% from three points during the Lakers’ first seven games. Although quiet from there, he was still a largely positive force for the team – of the regular rotation players, only LeBron James, Austin Reeves, Stanley Johnson and Tallinn Horton Tucker scored better net ratings.

Gary Washburn from The Boston Globe recently reported The idea of ​​Anthony joining the Celtics – who lost reserve striker Danilo Gallinari to a rupture in the AFC Champions League – was “gaining momentum”.

It should be noted that Anthony is still training and playing pick-up games with celebrities NBA coach Chris Brickley.

A post shared by Chris Joseph Brickley (@cbrickley603)

Dwight Howard

Howard certainly missed a move, especially on defense, but he was a big backup player, including the Lakers in 2020, when they won the championship.

In 2020-21, he averaged 17.5 rebounds per 36 minutes as a backup for Joel Embiid for the Philadelphia 76ers, a sign of his high activity level.

Dwight Howard looks during a match in 2022.

Dwight Howard in 2022.

Rick Scuteri / AP Images

While Howard was less effective last season, he may also have been burdened, having to start 27 games for the injury-stricken Lakers. It’s also possible that Howard was left a little more exposed, thanks to a leaky defense that ranked 21 in the defensive rating and gave up the second most shot attempt at five feet. However, opponents shot just over 50% on Howard last season, which is a good number.

Howard’s edge-running style may not be popular in a league that values ​​distances and playmaking, but he can still give the opposing team a solid 10-20 minutes of rebounding and defending.

Blake Griffin

While Griffin was not popular with the Brooklyn Nets in 2021-22, the previous year, he was praised for defending Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo in the playoffs.

Nets coach Steve Nash put Griffin back in the fold during the team’s first-round sweep by the Boston Celtics. Griffin was +6 at 25 minutes, a number that translates to +12 points for every 100 possessions. Although it was a very small sample size, it stands out given that the networks outperformed it by 4 points for every 100 ownerships in the chain.

Furthermore, Griffin was removed only four years from the All-NBA season. While not the high-performance sports marvel he once was, he’s a tough, rebellious playmaker, not to mention a decent three-point shooter (33% in five attempts per game since 2017, despite shooting only 26% overall). Past ).

While Griffin and the Nets will likely be finished with each other, his talent makes him an interesting potential addition to rival teams. Radio Phoenix Character John Gambadoro reported In late August that Sun was seeking “beyond the force forward”. Could Griffin serve as a great bench unit for last year’s NBA record number one team?

Blake Griffin holds his hands on his chest during the match.

Blake Griffin in 2022.

John Mincello / AP Photo

Changing the guard?

While it’s amazing to see three players with such fame and accolades without being signed for so long, it could also mark a transformative moment in the NBA.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today values ​​prowess in posing, shooting, and playmaking. One of the problems with Anthony, Howard, and Griffin is that they are more traditional players.

Howard is a traditional center, and he can’t extend the floor or do pick-and-roll performances.

The griffin is a conventional force forward. Although he can save space on the ground and make play, he is a bit slow defensively to protect the other attackers, and doesn’t provide an edge protection like a small five ball. Anthony is in a similar situation.

As NBA teams target younger and younger prospects, front desks will likely prefer untapped potential from still-growing players.

Of course, historically, teams have also valued experience and familiarity. As the season approaches, Anthony, Howard, and Griffin could be valuable additions, and could boost the team’s roster.

They may also find themselves outside looking back at the league they once dominated.