The Carmelo Anthony project on the Houston Rockets could already be nearing its conclusion.
After a slow start to the season for the once-prolific scorer, there are reports that the Rockets are giving serious thought to Anthony’s spot on the team and how he will fit long-term. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the two sides are “seriously weighing his roster situation” after Anthony missed Saturday’s game due to a suspected illness. Charania noted that Anthony had a full practice with the team on Friday before his sudden absence.
This report seemed to be confirmed by ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, according to ABC 13, who also reported that the Rockets were meeting with Anthony to discuss his long-term role with the team.
Whatever might happen, the team hasn’t given much indication publicly. When asked about the situation after a 96-89 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, coach Mike D’Antoni gave nothing and instead deferred to general manager Daryl Morey.
“Yeah, that’s… I’m sure you can address that with Daryl. I’m trying to win a game,” D’Antoni said. “You need to talk to Daryl. On that one, I have no answer for you right now.”
ESPN story on Carmelo Anthony's uncertain future with the Rockets. https://t.co/mncxgEEC3h— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 11, 2018
Anthony’s struggles have been one of the biggest factors contributing to the team’s slow start. He is hitting just a shade over 40 percent of his shots this year and averaging just 13 points a game, the lowest mark of his career.
Through 10 games, Carmelo Anthony has more missed shots (72) than field goals, assists, steals, and blocks combined (65).— Justin Phan (@jphanned) November 9, 2018
Rockets are 15.4 points per 100 possessions better with him off the court.
Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: The Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony are seriously weighing his roster situation. Sides ruled him out tonight in San Antonio due to "illness" — after he practiced fully with team Friday, league sources said.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 11, 2018
Anthony hit a low point in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder this week. Making his return after a rocky season with the Thunder, Anthony scored just two points on 11 shots and logged under seven minutes for the game.
Last season, Anthony had publicly scoffed at suggestions that he would be coming off the bench, though he has been much more open to the idea since coming over to the Houston Rockets. Before the season started, Anthony said he was willing to do whatever it took to win a championship.
“At the end of the day, we’re all going to camp to figure out what works in order for this team to try to win a championship,” Anthony said, via ESPN. “If that time comes, we’ll have that conversation. My goal is to go into training camp, be the best player I can be, be in the best shape I can be and do what I have to do to help this team get over the hump and win a championship. That’s all it is.”
As the newest NBA rumors indicate, that time has come and the conversation is imminent.