After losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in the recent free agency, the Houston Rockets became aggressive on the trade market, eyeing to fill the huge hole in their wing. When Carmelo Anthony became an unrestricted free agent after agreeing to a buyout with the Atlanta Hawks, the Rockets immediately grabbed the opportunity to add him to their roster. The Rockets initially believed that signing the 10-time NBA All-Star would boost their chance of challenging the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors for Western Conference supremacy.
However, when the 2018-19 NBA season officially started, bringing Carmelo Anthony to Houston proved to be a huge mistake for the Rockets. Anthony obeyed what Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni told him to do, but his presence on the court has been affecting the Rockets’ performance on both ends of the floor in a negative way. After 10 games, the Rockets realized that Anthony is an odd fit on their roster, which made them decide to get rid of the 34-year-old power forward.
Though Carmelo Anthony is no longer playing, he remains an official member of the Rockets. In an appearance on The Woj Pod, Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks of ESPN discussed why the Rockets have yet to release Anthony.
“Part of the reason Houston is holding on to Carmelo Anthony right now is financial,” Wojnarowski said, as transcribed by Sam Amico of Amico Hoops. “Carmelo is going to be back in the league this year, I have no doubt. I think there will be a job for him. How significant of a role? That remains to be seen. I do think it’s gotta be the right team for him. It’s gotta be a place that makes sense. Somebody else can’t pull the plug a few games in and say, this isn’t working. I don’t think he wants that to be his existence in the league now. But I do think there’s a team for him.”
Former general manager and ESPN analyst Bobby Marks believes that the Rockets are waiting for December 15 to waive Carmelo Anthony where he will only be owed $1 million. Once he officially becomes a free agent, Wojnarowski is very confident that Anthony can immediately find a new home. Despite being the odd man out in Houston, Anthony will still be a great addition to playoff-bound teams who need a boost in their bench scoring.
At 34, there is no doubt that Carmelo Anthony is already on the downside of his NBA career, but he still has lots of gas left in his tank. As Amico Hoops noted, several NBA teams have already emerged as potential suitors for the veteran small forward. These include the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, and the New Orleans Pelicans.