Things aren’t going well with the Houston Rockets and one person is taking most of the blame – 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony. After losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in the recent free agency, the Rockets acquired Anthony from the buyout market, hoping that the veteran forward would give them an additional firepower to match the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors.
Unfortunately, the team who is expected to be a real threat in the Western Conference struggled earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season. With just 10 games, it’s crystal clear that Carmelo Anthony is a bad fit in Houston. Recently, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed that Anthony met with the Rockets to discuss his role and how both parties might be able to proceed for the rest of the season.
His recent meeting with the Rockets is reportedly about having a reduced role to pave way for the return of Eric Gordon and Gary Clark. However, there are speculations that Houston may soon consider parting ways with Carmelo Anthony. Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey decided to break his silence and address the rumors surrounding his team. Morey said that Anthony has been targeted by “unfair speculations” and denied that they were blaming him for their rough start.
“One of the reasons I’m here, besides it’s 10 games in, about, is I think there’s just a lot of unfair, like, rumors and everything going around about him,” Morey said. “He’s been great with us. As Coach [Mike D’Antoni] said yesterday, his approach has been great. He’s accepted every role Coach has given him — starting, off the bench, whatever it’s been. We’re struggling as a team, and it’s my job, it’s Coach’s job to figure this thing out. But from guy one to guy 15 — and I’ll put myself in there; a lot of this is on me right now — we’re not playing well.”
Daryl Morey said that the Rockets have been “extremely happy” with Carmelo Anthony’s approach, and as of now, the veteran forward remains obedient on anything the team wanted him to do. When asked if Anthony still wants to be a Rocket, Morey said, “yes, absolutely.”
However, despite GM Daryl Morey’s statements, league sources reportedly told Tim MacMahon and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that the Rockets are strongly considering cutting ties with Carmelo Anthony. The Rockets may not have publicly stated that, but Anthony has been affecting their performance on both ends of the floor. Per NBA.com, the Rockets’ net rating is 8.8 points per 100 possessions better when Anthony is not on the floor.
As of now, Carmelo Anthony has already missed two consecutive games due to illness. Morey revealed that Anthony will be playing for the Rockets once he is 100 percent healthy. However, if they continue to struggle, it is highly likely that Anthony won’t be finishing the 2018-19 NBA season wearing the Rockets’ jersey.