Carmelo Anthony vs. Lebron James
For months it was known who would go #1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but just because your taken #1 doesn’t mean your the best player in the draft.
The Cavs obviously not only took James thinking he was the best player, but he’s a local boy from Akron, which means greater interest in him and an already developed fan base. All that turns into a lot more cash in the form of merchandise sales, media exposure, and ticket sales. As for improving the Cavaliers as a team, well that might not be so clear cut. With a roster already loaded with guys who go by the shoot first mentality (Ricky Davis, Dajuan Wagner, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Darius Miles) will the flashy James be able to get enough shots to please himself and all the fans, which until he was drafted were no where to be found at a Cavaliers game. James has said all the right things in his interviews how he’s a team player, just wants to improve the team anyway he can, which is all probably true, but it also helps to have those feelings when you’ve already got $90 million coming your way without having done any of those things. Barring a trade of one of the aforementioned Cavs
shooters, James in my opinion will have a very Ricky Davis type rookie season, 12-20 PPG a few rebounds, assists with the occasional spectacular dunk, now obviously James has a much better future then does Davis but until the Cavaliers start building around James and not just sticking him in an already crowded line-up, James will just be a very productive ticketmaster.
At only 19 years old Carmelo Anthony led the Syracuse Orangemen to the NCAA Title in his freshman year, leading not only in his play but by his example. Many people have made the argument that if Anthony was the best player he would have been the #1 selection in the draft, but it was James who went first, with all the ESPN coverage and media hype. Just take a look at the level of competition these two were facing, where James was playing against 15-17 year old high school players who clearly were not any match for a more physically mature James, Carmelo was going up against some of the best college players in the game, who in their own right will be in the NBA someday. Not only that Anthony carried his team through the grueling NCAA tournament and defeated two #1 seeds in doing so. With all the defensive attention on him and how to stop him he raised his level of play to not only get himself going but to help his teammates as well. Now a member of the Denver Nuggets, Anthony will
immediately be one of their (if not their best) top players. Where unlike the Cavs have James surrounded with players that have skills similar to his, the Nuggets really have no set roster and they have quite a bit of money to spend on free agents. While drafting a future superstar to build your team around, and having the ability to be a major player in free agency doesn’t guarantee success, I believe you’ll be seeing the Denver Nuggets playoff drought ending well before that of the Cleveland Cavaliers.