Chauncey Billups believes he knows why Carmelo Anthony remains unsigned.
Anthony was a star with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets but has not played in the NBA since he parted ways with the Houston Rockets in mid-November.
“The reason he’s not in the league – because he’s still worthy – he hasn’t mentally taken that step back to say ‘Okay, I’ll come in and play against backups. I’ll try to help the team out. I know I might not be able to close, but I just want to help the team out,'” Billups told SiriusXM radio.
“He’s not there yet.”
Anthony averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in his 10 games with the Rockets, who eventually traded him to the Bulls in January. Chicago immediately released him, and he has been a free agent since.
Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, and Billups were team-mates with Denver and New York from 2008-11.
“I feel bad for Melo and here’s why,” Billups said.
“Melo was like a good team-mate, man. Melo practised every day. He didn’t miss any games. Now, the one thing I will say – and I’ve even told Melo this – scoring 30 meant too much to Melo. Because, he could have games where he had 20, 22, we win the game, and he’s mad. He might have 36 … we lose the game and he’s in there [the locker room] picking everybody up.”
League executives believe the Lakers are the “most likely destination” for Anthony, according to an earlier report from SNY. Anthony is good friends with Los Angeles star LeBron James and the team reportedly had some level of interest in signing him during last season.
The Lakers, however, have made multiple other moves to fill out their roster.
“At this point, I just want to be happy,” Anthony said in January. “I think I’ve put myself in a good, peaceful mind state right now, [being] able to focus in on what I need to focus in on. And whatever’s going to make me happy, then we’re going to make it happen.”
Anthony said in late April he would be open to re-signing with the Knicks.