Nick Wright explains why the OKC Thunder ‘drastically’ need to change Carmelo Anthony’s role
Reacting to the Thunder's loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Nick Wright reveals to Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe why OKC needs to 'drastically' change how they integrate Carmelo Anthony if he, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the rest of the squad hope to bounce back in OKC.
- In those nine losses, six of them, they've had big leaps. So they've played well enough to win many of these games. They can not finish games. And I'm going to suggest a somewhat radical adjustment, that they're not going to do right now, but they've got to keep in mind. And that is drastically changing Carmelo's role, and drastically changing the way they discuss this team.
JENNA WOLFE: Explain.
- This is not a team with three superstars. This is a team with, in my opinion, one superstar, in Russ. One true star in Paul George. I think those are two tiers. And then a good player in Melo.
- OK, now do you think it was kind of like LeBron when he went to Miami? When Chris Bosh--
- No. No, I don't.
CRIS CARTER: When Chris Bosh kind of changed?
- No, I think maybe at the end. Maybe by the end of it. Like LeBron would be Russ, Paul George would be Wade, and Bosh would be Melo. Because Bosh, by the end of it, had deteriorated. But not to the point that Melo's deteriorated.
CRIS CARTER: Yeah, and also I think the intangibles that Bosh brought, especially from the three-point line, playing five, playing out of position--
NICK WRIGHT: Versatility, defensively, no. I mean, I love ranking players, right? And so Russ is a top-eight player in the league, Paul George is a top-16 player in the league. Carmelo Anthony right now is somewhere in that 25 to 30 range. So he's a very valuable player.
But if you were trying to do equal partnership when one guy is clearly worse than the other two, those extra possessions Melo is getting are being taken away from Russ and Paul George. I think they'd be better off asking Melo to do what they asked James Harden to do six years ago. Come off the bench, we will run the offense through you for the end of the first quarter, beginning of the second, end of the third, beginning of the fourth--
- And as much as he likes to dribble, it would probably fit in better with the second group.