6. Carmelo Anthony, 2003
Slash Line: .449/.347/.811
Career Averages: 24.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 1.3 3PM
Carmelo Anthony should have added to his legacy with the 2018-19 season, but it was lost in just 10 games with the Rockets. Otherwise, there are 14 better years to look back on for this Hall of Fame career.
The 2003 NBA Draft may have the greatest top five ever. Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade consumed this top group, with all four dominating the league for the next 15 years. Bosh is out for health reasons, and Wade retired. LeBron is still playing well.
Anthony was around strong up until the 2017-18 season. Before that, he was one of the game’s best scorers with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, basically splitting his career in half with these teams.
Anthony topped 25 points per game five times, two of which happened with the Knicks. His run in New York was probably the greatest of anyone to wear the blue and orange since 2000, given the lack of success along the way.
All-Star appearances followed along the way in New York, and he was a beloved player for this time, although the end of his run featured a bloated contract, injuries and a feud with Phil Jackson.
There was always greater potential for Anthony, especially with some of the Denver teams he played on with Allen Iverson, but the Syracuse product never made the conference finals, losing in the first or second round each time. It was a disappointment for his career, but the accolades along the way keep his status as one of the best No. 3 picks.