Daniels: Carmelo Won't Start For OKC In '18-19

If Anthony opts in, it will be for a reserve role

Tiki and Tierney
May 01, 2018 - 6:18 pm

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Carmelo Anthony has a choice to make: he can stay in Oklahoma City and make $28 million next season, or he can play elsewhere and make an amount of money to be determined. But if he stays in OKC, he’s coming off the bench.

Period.

“If I’m in the situation, if I’m Billy Donovan or I’m Sam Presti, I’m saying, ‘Listen, if you opt into $28 million, you’re opting into coming off the bench,’” NBA champion and NBA analyst Antonio Daniels said on Tiki and Tierney. “‘Coming off the bench is your role.’”

And if Anthony, who averaged a career-low 16.2 points per game this season, doesn’t want to do that?

“Don’t opt in,” Daniels said. “Don’t opt in. You can go elsewhere and try and be someone else’s first option. Carmelo Anthony is a great guy. I love him as a person. Fantastic basketball player. His resume speaks for itself. But there comes a point in everybody’s career regardless of your sport where you’re never who you once were. There comes a point mentally where you have to understand that and get past that point. I’m telling him, ‘Listen, you want to be here? That’s awesome. If you opt into $28 million, you’re also opting in to coming off the bench. That’s your role. If not, don't opt in. Take your chances elsewhere.’”

Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, has averaged a triple-double in back-to-back seasons but hasn’t won a playoff series since Kevin Durant bolted for Golden State. Still, it’s difficult to blame Westbrook for that, especially after averaging 29.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists against Utah.

“I think there’s a lot of similarities between Russell Westbrook and LeBron James,” Daniels said, “but I think there are different narratives painted about each of them. The narrative about Russell Westbrook is that he doesn't make anyone better around him. The narrative about LeBron James is he needs help. So when Dwyane Wade leaves and goes to Miami and leads them in scoring in the playoffs or when Derrick Rose leaves and goes to Minnesota and has a greats series for Minnesota, no one points their finger at LeBron. 

“But when Victor Oladipo leaves and goes to Indiana and plays well, now they’re saying he can’t play with Russell Westbrook,” Daniels continued. “When Jordan Clarkson and these guys come over and their production is cut in half from where they were prior to coming to LeBron, they say those guys need to step their game up. So I feel like there’s so many similarities between the two, but I think it’s different narratives out there painted about each of them.”