Report: Carmelo Anthony Signs 1-Year, $2.5 Million Deal With Rockets

By Matthew Cardenas on August 15, 2018

It is finally happening. There are no more hoops to jump through. Carmelo Anthony will sign with the Rockets after he has now officially cleared waivers. Anthony was recently involved with a trade involving the Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks bought Anthony out and he gave the organization $2.4 million, which he got reimbursed by the Rockets.

Anthony has been linked to the Rockets for years, and as recent as this summer. Daryl Morey and the front office made their interest in Melo known throughout the years. Most likely remember the "Key to a Championship Formula" picture that has once again made its rounds on social media. He held meetings with two teams during Summer League in Las Vegas once the Thunder granted Anthony permission to speak with other teams. The Miami Heat were the other team Anthony met with besides the Rockets.

To some degree, Anthony signing with the Rockets feels like destiny. There are a plethora of familiar faces within the franchise Anthony has history with. Chris Paul and Anthony have been close friends for numerous years, as both are part of the famous "banana boat." James Harden and Anthony have shared the court together with the USA National Team, where Anthony is a three-time Gold medalist. A viral video of the trio working out at a Lifetime Athletic location has resurfaced on Twitter, giving a glimpse of what we could see in Houston.

The most interesting storyline to follow is Anthony reuniting with Head Coach Mike D'Antoni. The two were together for a brief stint with the New York Knicks when Anthony was in his prime and a star player. It was not a pretty relationship as the animosity between Anthony and D'Antoni was well documented. D'Antoni stated that his resignation from the Knicks was solely due to his poor relationship with Anthony.

Rockets fans should not let a past relationship distress them. It was years ago and situations/roles have changed for both Anthony and D'Antoni. We have actually seen D'Antoni say he is open to coaching Anthony again. With there being no question who the stars are in Houston right now, this relationship could be much smoother.

A need for a forward was desperately needed. Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza both signed elsewhere this summer, making the Rockets lose depth at what was once their deepest position. Their gameplan has always been to have multiple wings who can spot up on the perimeter and defend multiple positions. Basically, the Rockets are locked in on matching up with the Golden State Warriors and were so close to knocking off the juggernaut in Oakland.

Anthony is nowhere near the defensive class of Mbah a Moute and Ariza. Those two were key in the Rockets having one of the best defenses. At the same time, those two are nowhere near the offensive class of Anthony. Although he had career lows in multiple categories during his lone season with the Thunder, some of that could be attributed to an awkward fit. Anthony never seemed comfortable playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. It sometimes felt like possessions were forced for him to receive touches just for Anthony to remain happy.

This isn't meant to me a knock on George or Westbrook, but neither have the passing ability of Paul and Harden. A lot more goes into passing than one would typically think. It's all about rhythm and ball placement. Paul and Harden communicate with teammates on their preferred location of passes, making it easier to stay in rhythm on shots. We saw Anthony constantly have to readjust once already set up in Oklahoma City. Paul and Harden will do a better job of keeping Anthony in rhythm and have better percentages in all aspects.

Adding another scorer will make the offense more lethal. Anthony can create for himself and do a lot of work against opposing teams second units. His passing is also underrated. Anthony likes to set up shot around the post and is not afraid to kick out. Players can easily set up on the opposite side and Anthony will locate them.

It will be interesting to see what Anthony's true role is. He is not the same 25 PPG scorer anymore, which he likely now understands. James Ennis was also signed during the off-season and could slide into Ariza's old spot at the small forward. Both bring different attributes and will help in different ways. Do not be surprised if Anthony is sometimes on the bench for crunch time. His defense has been a liability for years and Ennis is more capable on that end. Who knows, though. It's July. There is time to establish chemistry and see what fits best for the Rockets as they look to hopefully hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy in June 2019.

1 comment:

  1. Brandon Knight, Eric Gordon, Gerald Green, PJ Tucker, Marquese Chriss on the second unit has enough scoring punch...start Melo