6 Reasons Why Carmelo Anthony May Be Overrated

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New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony plans to opt out of the last year of his contract and “test the waters” of free agency this summer, with teams like Chicago, Houston, and the Los Angeles Clippers all expected to show interest. While Anthony has said that his top priority is to re-sign with the Knicks, it’s tricky: He’s looking for assurances from Knicks President Phil Jackson that the team is committed to rebuilding, but Jackson also knows it means a significant pay cut for Anthony.

Undoubtedly, Anthony has been a force in the league. He has scored nearly 20,000 points in his career and appeared in the All-Star game seven times. He is the fifth-highest paid player in the league and was the regular season’s second-leading scorer, after Kevin Durant. Some say he’s one of the best players in the league, third only to LeBron James and Durant. But what about numbers?

In a recent Atlantic piece, David Berri makes the case that the National Basketball Association forward isn’t as valuable to the Knicks as their fans – or their front office – think. We break down six reasons this may be true.

1. Effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage

In the 2013-2014 regular season, Berri writes that an “average NBA player had an effective field goal percentage (a measure that considers the impact of shooting from two-point and three-point range) of 0.501 and a true shooting percentage (a measure that considers the impact of shooting from the free throw line and the field) of 0.541.” Anthony’s stats put him at a 0.503 effective field goal percentage and a 0.561 true shooting percentage, making him only marginally better than the average player at putting the ball through the hoop.

2. Wins produced

“Wins produced” is a model for estimating individual player contribution to winning and is calculated through box score statistics tracked by the NBA. Taking into account two of the league’s contenders for MVP and pitting them against Anthony, we see the disparity: In the regular season, Durant produced 19.4 wins, James produced 17.8 wins, and Anthony produced just 6.9 wins.

This isn’t just a number limited to the 2013-2014 season, either. Berri reports that in the 2012-2013 season, James produced 21.1 wins, Durant produced 19.2 wins, and Anthony only produced 4.1 wins. This is largely the result of Anthony’s effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentages, which linger close to average, while James and Durant’s figures are significantly higher.

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