Two months before the start of the 2018-19 season, most teams are almost done making roster moves which they believe could strengthen their chance of winning an NBA championship title. In the ESPN Summer Forecast, panelist ranked their top three choices for the worst newcomers of the 2018-19 season wherein Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard earned the first and second spot, respectively.
It was not a surprise why Carmelo Anthony, who received 61 total points and 27.2 percent first-place votes, was named the worst newcomer of the 2018-19 season. With his failure to make himself fit as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s third scoring option, most people have doubt how Carmelo Anthony can excel playing alongside James Harden and Chris Paul in the Houston Rockets. The Rockets aggressively pursued Anthony after losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency.
Anthony may be a reliable scorer, but he can’t replicate Ariza and Mbah a Moute’s performance on the defensive end. Also, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN, it is still a big question if Anthony can work effectively with Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni, especially knowing how their relationship ended in the New York Knicks.
“Although the forward has seen a decline in his play, all eyes will also be focused on the relationship between him and head coach Mike D’Antoni after a rocky ending in New York. However, Anthony and D’Antoni built a relationship through Team USA during the 2016 Olympics when D’Antoni was an assistant coach. If both sides can coexist, then Anthony on the $2.4 million minimum exception is a bargain.”
Meanwhile, some people will definitely argue why Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard, who received 46 total points and 18.1 percent first-place votes, finished second in the ESPN’s worst newcomers of the 2018-19 season. The acquisition of the 32-year-old All-Star center is undeniably a huge upgrade for the Wizards on both ends of the floor. In 81 games he played with the Charlotte Hornets last season, Howard averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks on 55.5 percent shooting from the field.
When he became available on the free agency market, Howard was personally recruited by Wizards superstar John Wall. Howard’s individual performance is definitely outstanding, but according to Marks, the main reason why he is named as the second worst newcomers of the 2018-19 season is the perception that he is a “one-man wrecking ball of team chemistry,” both in the locker room and on the court. Despite being considered as a future Hall of Famer, Howard has earned a bad reputation for his attitude on and off the court.