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Carmelo Anthony rumors: Nets would rather pursue other available forwards despite push from Brooklyn players

The Brooklyn Nets have increasingly seemed like a sensible home for Carmelo Anthony as the offseason has progressed. Anthony spent the prime of his career in New York playing for the Knicks. The Nets lost forward Wilson Chandler to a 25-game suspension earlier in the offseason due to a performance-enhancing drug violation. Another Nets forward, Rodions Kurucs, is facing assault allegations from his former girlfriend, and while the league has not disciplined him yet, it is investigating the situation. 

But despite these potential openings in Brooklyn’s lineup, it is “very unlikely” that the Nets sign Anthony, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Nets currently have a full roster, and if they were to pursue a 16th player during Chandler’s absence, the report mentions C.J. Williams, a player the team has worked out, as a likelier choice. 

Frank Isola of The Athletic reported last month that Nets players had been pushing for the team to sign Anthony. Given his popularity among the league’s best players, it’s not hard to see why. The Nets signed former All-Stars Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan this offseason, but with Durant expected to miss the season while recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, Anthony would have made sense as a replacement scorer in the interim. 

But with the Nets now seemingly off of the table, Anthony’s options appear to be running out. Anthony has not played in an NBA game since November 2018, and this offseason’s free agency is nearly three months old. If someone was going to sign Anthony, it probably would have happened by now. 

His best hope for landing a contract now might be injury. Teams are going to lose incumbent forwards to attrition as the season goes on. When that happens, Anthony could appear viable in a very thin group of free agents. This is the path many veterans need to take back into the NBA when teams don’t call during the offseason. 

Anthony has been clear about his desire to return to the league, but at this point, the odds of him actually doing so are growing thinner by the day. There is no obvious fit for his skill set, and most rosters are full as training camp gets set to begin. Circumstances will need to change somewhere if he is going to find a team this season.