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Kyle Kuzma thinks Carmelo Anthony should be in NBA next year, but won’t pressure Lakers to sign him

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Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma has joined the growing chorus of people saying that Carmelo Anthony still belongs in the NBA.

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Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Over the last several days, there has been a growing debate about whether or not Carmelo Anthony should be on an NBA team next season. Anthony was let go by the Houston Rockets early on last year, and hasn’t been on an NBA roster since, despite tons of speculation during the season that the Lakers would sign him.

That never came to pass, and with the team wanting to leave their final roster spot open, it seems unlikely to change soon. Still, Anthony has been connected to the purple and gold in a few ways, most recently when he went on ESPN’s “First Take” and said that the Lakers were one of the teams he and his reps had reached out to while they try to find his next NBA home.

Anthony has also been spotted working out with Kyle Kuzma, the latter of whom told Arash Markazi of The L.A. Times that while he wouldn’t pressure the Lakers to sign Anthony, he does think Anthony deserves a spot in the NBA:

“Melo is easily better than half the league right now,” Kuzma said. “There’s no question about it. He should be on a team right now. He’s still one of the best players. The slander people throw at him is something I don’t really understand. Maybe that’s just the way today’s society is right now.

“It would be great to see him in L.A., but I don’t make those decisions. That’s up to Rob [Pelinka] to make those decisions as far as what he thinks is best for the Lakers. He’s done a great job so far putting this team together.”

Anthony being better than “half” of the league is sadly an unlikely statement at this point, but part of the issue isn’t that Anthony isn’t good. It’s that in his past stops, there’s been a perception (fair or not) that he isn’t totally willing to alter the ball-dominant game that made him a star.

He just isn’t good enough to justify those types of touches anymore, but Anthony likely could help a team if he was willing to accept a reduced role and just get quick buckets for a few minutes a night off of the bench. But whether the Lakers are the team to give Melo that chance or not, Kuzma said Anthony has already helped him regardless:

“It’s been amazing working with Carmelo,” Kuzma said. “He’s one of the greatest players of all time and one of the best scorers of all time. Getting to learn little things from him that will hopefully help my game will be big for me this season.”

Anthony does have plenty to offer Kuzma as a teacher at the very least, but unless the team has to go through substantial injuries in the frontcourt, he just doesn’t make a ton of sense for their roster. We’ll see if that changes at any point for the remainder of this summer, or during the season, but until then, this should probably be marked down as a long-shot.

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