Carmelo Anthony Rockets update: the 10-time All-Star forward’s move to Houston seems more a question of “when” than “if” at this point. The Rockets are an interesting fit for a number of reasons.
‘Melo is coming off of a disappointing year with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Obviously his age and wear-and-tear is a factor, but the entire team seemed a bit out of sorts for much of the year.
With the Rockets specifically, he would be playing under one of his former coaches: Mike D’Antoni.
After failed stints with the New York Knicks, of which Anthony was a member, and Los Angeles Lakers, D’Antoni has successfully refound the success he previously had with the Phoenix Suns in Houston. Last season, the team clinched the first seed in the Western Conference, and took the Golden State Warriors to Game 7 of the conference finals.
The Knicks finished 42-40 with a first round exit in 2010-11 after acquiring Anthony at mid-year. The team started out 18-24 the next season, and D’Antoni resigned. One of the main issues cited was the star forward’s poor fit in D’Antoni’s famous up-tempo offense.
D’Antoni’s Rockets offense is pretty devastating, but it isn’t all about pace anymore. The team can run, or dynamic guards James Harden and Chris Paul can pound the rock and probe the defense in the half-court. The team ranked 14th in the NBA in pace last season.
The relationship with Mike D’Antoni is key to making a Carmelo Anthony Rockets acquisition work, but per a report, it won’t be an issue.
Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Jordan Schultz tweeted that Carmelo “does not hold any grudges” over how things played out in his first go-around as a player for D’Antoni.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 13, 2018
Last season, Anthony did not accept the idea of being a third fiddle to Russell Westbrook and Paul George in OKC. The Houston situation might make him an even more definitive third, or even fourth, guy.
Harden and Paul almost always have the ball in their hands. Anthony was once a ball-dominant iso player. Now, he needs to turn into more of a catch-and-shoot weapon.
If he manages to transform his game into an efficient scoring role player, this could be a great addition. If not, there’s a decent chance the Rockets would’ve been better off finding a way to hold onto Trevor Ariza.