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Is Carmelo Anthony done in the NBA? Should he be?

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That’ll depend on how his exit from Houston is framed.

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Carmelo Anthony’s brief time with the Houston Rockets has come to an end, according to reports. He didn’t play in either of the Rockets’ weekend games, a loss to the Spurs followed by a win over the Pacers. His last appearance was on TNT on Nov. 8, in which he shot 1-for-11 in an 18-point loss to the Thunder, who ejected him from their roster at first opportunity this summer.

Despite protests from Rockets GM Daryl Morey, multiple outlets reported that Houston coaches and players believe Melo has played his final game for the Rockets. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed it a few days later.

Anthony lasted 10 games. He lasted not four weeks before the Rockets will apparently bail.

This is bad. This could be the end of his NBA career. Will it be? Should it be?

That depends a few things.

1. How does his Rockets exit get framed?

How this all plays out will shape the narrative here. If the Rockets throw Melo under the bus given their early-season struggles, as Anthony’s friends Dwyane Wade and LeBron James suggest they will, that could weigh him down as he seeks another situation. That has not happened ... yet.

How could Houston do this? Well, one thing about Melo that is totally believable is that he still thinks he’s a top-line player. So, the Rockets could leak that Melo has been grousing about his role as a reserve, leading to the ignominious exit.

But maybe Melo hasn’t been grousing. Maybe he’s just bad enough at the things Houston needs from their role players that the Rockets would rather fill those minutes and that roster spot with someone else (like a three-point shooter, or defender, or transition sprinter). If this gets explained as the Rockets having messed up their offseason and needing now to make tweaks, and fit — not personality — being the problem, perhaps Melo can escape this embarrassment relatively unscathed.

Morey showed caution and kindness right now by trying to calm the waters with rumors swirling. Melo isn’t talking or leaking. If that holds, maybe Anthony’s reputation can survive this exit.

2. How does Melo talk about the next stop and his future?

Once Carmelo is back on the market, watch how he and, through anonymous sourcing, his team talk about the next stop. Is it a farewell tour? Is it him wanting to take on a new role? Is he interested in joining up with one of his best friends that he’s yet to play with in the NBA? (It didn’t really work out with CP3, and the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade pairing in Cleveland didn’t work either. This Banana Boat thing is fascinating. Does it need to be all four of them to work?)

If Melo isn’t fully invested in winding down his career in a new, lesser role — even lower than his Rockets role, which still had him around 30 minutes most nights, albeit off the bench — that could spell doom. Melo isn’t the sort of nostalgic hero that, like Wade, teams will be willing to put up with if it’s not a good fit. It only takes one team, of course. But if Melo can’t convince himself that the end is near and he needs to pull it back, he won’t be able to convince a team.

Tangent with me for a second: some have compared this to Allen Iverson’s denouement. It’s not like that at all. Iverson’s problem was less his ability to fit in than his ability to show up regularly, in shape, and on time. Melo has no such issues. Melo’s reasons for hasty devolution are entirely basketball related. Iverson’s fade was all about Iverson’s lack of reliability. (The basketball stuff didn’t help either.)

Melo is, whatever else you think of him, a professional. That matters.

3. How does Melo feel about playing overseas?

Anthony is a smart businessman, and if his team is convinced he can move more merchandise by playing in China, he might be the right fading NBA star to make the move, a la Starbury. Jimmer Fredette is out there scoring 75. Surely Melo can do damage.

He’d be the biggest NBA star ever to make that plunge, and it’d be a little wild considering Melo has made more than $250 million in salary in the league. He doesn’t need to keep playing for financial reasons, obviously. It would be all about keeping the career alive to prove to himself and others he still has it (for a fuzzy definition of it).

If Melo is into this, then he is done in the NBA, unless he shows out overseas and some team brings him back for the stretch run and playoffs. Crazier things have happened.