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2 Dark Horses For Carmelo Anthony: NBA Fans React

Carmelo Anthony smiling while on the bench for Team USA.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Carmelo Anthony #15 of United States reacts on the bench during the game agaisnt Venezuela in the men's preliminary round group A game 19 on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 1 on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Having once struggled to find interested teams, Carmelo Anthony has reinvented himself as a steady scorer off the bench. If the future Hall of Famer keeps playing, he should have suitors.

According to Heavy's Sean Deveney, sources around the league think Anthony will return for another season. One person identified the 37-year-old's "starting point" as re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 13.3 points per game last season.

Should he leave, Anthony could return home to New York. While the Knicks are a "longshot," the Brooklyn-born star could join former Olympic teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the Nets.

However, Deveney identified two other "darkhorses" still hoping to win the Eastern Conference: the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.

Could either contender secure Anthony's veteran presence in 2022-23? Some fans are either dubious about those teams' interest or aren't excited about the possibility.

Meanwhile, others are counting on him staying with the Lakers, where he'd attempt to help turn around a disastrous season alongside his close friend, LeBron James.

Given their lack of supplemental scoring behind Durant and Irving, the Nets seem to make more sense if he leaves. Now that he's accepted a lesser late-career role, Anthony could bolster the bench while adding a respected voice to the polarizing team.

Boston and Miami, on the other hand, have more young talent to prioritize. But perhaps their postseason outcomes could shape their position on targeting Melo this offseason.