But there are a few players in the East we'd rather see take the floor in New Orleans on Sunday. No disrespect, Melo; this is purely a matter of personal taste.
First, let's establish our baseline with Melo's box score averages this season:
23.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks per game in 2016-17.
Those are solid, All-Star-worthy numbers, sure. Again, we're not necessarily against Anthony taking part in the festivities in New Orleans this weekend.
It's just that if we were making the decision, we'd pick one of these guys instead — because defense and efficiency matter.
Hassan Whiteside, C, Miami Heat
Season averages: 16.8 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks per game
Whiteside's right that big men are overlooked in today's All-Star balloting, largely because the "center" position was taken off of the roster. True bigs slip through the cracks when you lump everyone together in the "frontcourt."
Although we had questions about the Heat center's real defensive impact headed into this season — it seemed like he sometimes chased blocks to the detriment of the team scheme — there's no doubt Whiteside has been the driving force behind Miami's surprise surge in the second half of this season.
Brook Lopez, C, Brooklyn Nets
Season averages: 20.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 blocks per game
Honestly, we want to give Brook a trip to the Big Easy as a reward for everything he's had to go through in Brooklyn over the past several seasons.
Beyond our own sympathies, though, Lopez has played like an All-Star in 2016-17. He added a surprisingly effective 3-point shot to his arsenal out of nowhere this season, taking more than five triples per game and making 34.4 percent of them. On top of his offensive growth, Lopez doubled down as a defensive anchor — and as the lone offensive option for the Nets with Jeremy Lin sidelined.
As a result, he became the first player in NBA history with eight blocks and six made threes in a single game earlier this week. That's an All-Star-caliber stat for a player who hasn't been named to an All-Star roster since 2013.
Dwyane Wade, G, Chicago Bulls
Season averages: 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals per game
Like Melo, Wade's inclusion on the All-Star roster is essentially a life-time achievement award — but given the choice between the two, we'd rather have the former Miami Heat superstar on the Eastern Conference roster this year.
Remember, after Sunday's All-Star Game, we're without the NBA until Thursday. A Wade-LeBron reunion is always a good time, after all, and watching the two hook up for an alley-oop would give everyone plenty to talk about in the buildup to that Feb. 23 trade deadline.
Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
Season averages: 22.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game
Beal's numbers fall a bit shy of Melo's, we'll admit — but that's only because the Wizards guard is willing to defer to John Wall on a regular basis. If Beal wanted to lead Washington in scoring, he could easily do so. Instead, he's more efficient than Melo across the board, with his 19.6 PER just beating out Anthony's own 19.4.
Mostly, though, this is about rewarding the Wizards for their recent resurgence and giving Beal his first-ever All-Star berth.