Marc Stein of the New York Times broke the news earlier today:
Carmelo Anthony intends to sign with the Houston Rockets upon becoming a free agent, league sources say, though it could be several more days before Melo is formally traded and clears waivers. Full @NYTSports coverage: https://t.co/8T4kLf6IrT
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 23, 2018
Report: Carmelo Anthony Plans To Sign With Houston Rockets
The Oklahoma City Thunder had just traded Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a three-team deal that netted them Dennis Schroder and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot on July 19. He is set to earn his full remaining salary of $27.9 million from the buyout. That is likely what made accepting a deal at the veteran’s minimum possible. Anthony averaged a career low 16.2 points per game last year, while shooting a career low 40.4% from the field.
Despite the drop in offensive production last season, Anthony can still be a valuable contributor to an offense. His numbers are not far off from Kyle Lowry‘s (16.2 PPG on 42.7 FG%) and Eric Gordon‘s (18.0 PPG on 42.7 FG%) at this point in his career. Anthony’s field goal percentage and overall efficiency should be able to go up in Houston. Mike D’Antoni‘s system requires a lot spacing and ball movement. Anthony should be able to get more open looks in this system. Chris Paul and James Harden getting the majority of the defense’s attention should help him out, as well.
The Overall Fit
However if Anthony is going to be successful in Houston, he needs to stop trying to take over games by forcing contested shots like he did with the Thunder. At this stage in his career, his old style of play does not lead to success. More importantly, Anthony is on a team that can go to Harden or Paul when it needs a bucket. Ray Allen and Dirk Nowitzki are two legends that had longevity, because they understood they had to transition from being the go to guy to a role player.
Anthony needs to stop trying to carry teams on his shoulders, but also with the Rockets he does not have to. Houston got a really good scorer on a bargain contract, and they desperately needed a forward after losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency.
Sure, Anthony is not a great defender. He never was. However, he can still be a great scorer. Houston had to make a move to try to keep up with Golden State. Frankly, there were not any better options on the market. Regardless, Anthony on a minimum deal is a good move for the Rockets.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – DECEMBER 7: Carmelo Anthony (L) of Oklahoma City Thunder in action against Allen Crabbe (R) of Brooklyn Nets during a NBA regular season game between Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma Thunder at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico on December 7, 2017. (Photo by Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)