It will only be a matter of time before 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony joins his close pal and fellow member of the famous Banana Boat Crew Chris Paul in the Houston Rockets. Anthony, who was recently traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to Atlanta in a three-team deal, is reportedly planning to sign a veteran minimum deal with the Rockets once he clears waivers with the Hawks, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
“Carmelo Anthony is planning to sign with the Houston Rockets upon clearing waivers in coming days, according to two people with knowledge of his plans. Anthony is unlikely to become a free agent before next week at the earliest because his pending trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks could take several days before it is officially completed, according to the people, who insisted on anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the trade publicly.”
Since the 2018 NBA offseason started, the Houston Rockets emerged as a top destination for Carmelo Anthony once he parted ways with the Thunder. The Rockets became more aggressive in their pursuit of Anthony when they lost wingmen Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns and Luc Mbah a Moute to the Los Angeles Clippers. Anthony may not be a great defender like Ariza and Mbah a Moute, but he could give the Rockets a reliable third scoring option behind James Harden and Chris Paul.
Being a ball-dominant player, some people have doubt how Carmelo Anthony could make himself fit playing alongside Rockets superstars Chris Paul and James Harden. His one-year stint with the Thunder where he teamed up with Russell Westbrook and Paul George didn’t go well, which is proven by the huge drop in his statistics. In 78 games he played last season, the 34-year-old small forward averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds on 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.
However, with his goal to win an NBA championship title, signing with the Rockets is undeniably the best decision for Anthony. The Rockets were the only NBA team who gave the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, a tough competition in the playoffs. To become more useful for the Rockets, Anthony should work on his defense and learn how he can fit in Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system.
Before Stein’s report circulated, Harden welcomed the idea of having the All-Star forward to their team, saying Anthony would be “a great acquisition for us.” The reigning MVP is aware that the competition in the Western Conference just got tougher now that LeBron James is playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Warriors acquired All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in free agency. Anthony may have gone through ups and downs last season, but he could provide a tremendous help for the Rockets once he awakens the “Olympic Melo” inside him.