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On Carmelo Anthony’s complicated legacy

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We have that and more in Thursday’s NBA newsletter.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz - Game Six Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

The Carmelo Anthony trade sending Dennis Schroder to the Thunder has been completed. Once Melo clears waivers, he will reportedly sign with the Rockets for the veteran’s minimum.

His legacy has been discussed widely this summer, likely owing to the saga over his contract opt-in and subsequent decision by the Thunder to get him off the payroll come hell or high water. There are really two parallel conversations ever happening when Melo’s legacy is discussed: his context within basketball history and his context within his generation’s greatest players.

On the former, Anthony is clearly worthy of the Hall of Fame, quite possibly on the first ballot owing to his inevitability. He’s a top-20 scorer all-time who made All-Star teams all through his prime and six All-NBA teams. He won a college championship and three Olympic gold medals, and has made the playoffs in 11 of his 15 seasons, usually as his team’s best player.

But in the context of the time he played, Melo has clearly been a relic, a symbol of what the sport is abandoning. He is essentially Iverson without the cultural impact, Kobe without rings. He’s always been a volume scorer with moves galore -- beautiful, unstoppable moves -- who doesn’t defend well enough or shoot efficiently enough to convince skeptics he’s ever worth the hype. The NBA has been moving away from players like Melo the whole time he’s been around. That takes a toll on one’s reputation.

So there’s this dichotomy with Melo: an unquestionably great player who had no real impact on the sport during his career. And that’s just his play: it gets more complicated when you mix in his battles with coaches and friction over pecking order, and then mix in his exemplary community work.

Carmelo Anthony: it’s complicated!

DeMad DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan is still extremely mad at the Raptors and GM Masai Ujiri. In a long interview with ESPN’s Chris Haynes, DeRozan called Ujiri’s claims that the player was looped into trade discussions as early as possible are not true, and presents a deep sense of betrayal.

DeRozan is so peeved he dropped out of this summer’s activities with Basketball Without Borders and the NBA Africa Game, for which Ujiri is typically a central figure, citing the need to move his entire life from Toronto to Texas.

Likewise, Kawhi Leonard isn’t participating in the USA Basketball mini-camp in Las Vegas this week. Gregg Popovich is running that joint, and yes, that’d be awkward. (I don’t usually recommend podcasts in Good Morning It’s Basketball because I’m eternally a week behind, but do check out ESPN’s San Antonio-based Michael C. Wright on Zach Lowe’s show -- lots of previously unreported nuggets about the Kawhi saga.)

Links Galore

Excellent Zach Lowe piece on Jenny Boucek, who will become a mother soon while serving on the Mavericks’ staff. Lots of great background on the tough choices women in pro sports -- especially those seeking to break into male-dominated leagues -- make. And good to see that there is good in the Kings organization.

Kevin Love signed a large adult extension with the Cavaliers. I wrote about how there’s little risk to Cleveland. Jeff Siegel wonders how Love will perform as the No. 1 option after being No. 2 or 3 for his entire Cleveland tenure. The Love extension affects other teams, too.

Should Melo start over James Ennis? Does Mike D’Antoni have a choice?

Really nice piece from Jonathan Tjarks on Trae Young’s future and the need for persistent motion.

A meeting of some of the most powerful people in the NBA ... who happen not to be men.

Vince Carter signed with the Hawks. He has been in the NBA longer than teammate Trae Young has been alive. Here’s a neat-o stat: this season, Vince will be older than Kareem was during his final season with the Lakers in 1988-89. Meanwhile, Vince has had a lot of teammates.

Rodger Sherman asks why everyone still dislikes Dwight Howard so much. Andrew Sharp (hilariously) talks himself into Dwight on the Wizards.

Good Charlotte uniform.

The WNBA All-Star Game is Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Mechelle Voepel argues that the league needs to make it a bigger deal.

Danny Green talked about the Spurs’ medical staff, and it got taken a little out of context on the basketball internet. Look at what he actually said.

Marc Stein on the chances that Team USA could miss the 2019 FIBA World Cup due to a tough qualifying draw and the unavailability of NBA players, which affects the American team most harshly.

Be excellent to each other.