After losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in the recent free agency, the Houston Rockets had been aggressive in the market during the offseason, eyeing to fill the hole in their wing. Luckily, the player that the Rockets were pursuing since the 2017 NBA offseason, Carmelo Anthony, became an unrestricted free agent. After clearing waivers with the Atlanta Hawks, Anthony immediately signed a one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Rockets.
The Rockets signed Anthony, believing that he could give them a higher chance of challenging the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, for the Western Conference supremacy. Unfortunately, bringing the 10-time NBA All-Star to Houston proved to be a huge mistake for the Rockets. Prior to his being placed on the inactive list, Anthony’s presence had been affecting the Rockets’ performance on both ends of the floor in a negative way.
After 10 regular season games, the Rockets decided to part ways with Carmelo Anthony. The veteran small forward, however, shouldn’t take all the blame for the Rockets’ struggle earlier this season, as suggested by Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey in a recent interview.
According to Morey, Anthony made a huge sacrifice in his game and obeyed everything that Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni asked him to do. In a recent appearance on The Haberstroh Show, Morey explained that Anthony wasn’t just a good fit in their defensive scheme and said that he should be held accountable for the All-Star forward’s failed stint in Houston.
“But in terms of like how things evolved for us and our heavy use of the switching defense…that was one thing that wasn’t a perfect fit,” Morey said, via Def Pen.
“It really is mostly on me, honestly. I saw the fit there and really didn’t go the way I thought it would.”
— New York Post (@nypost) December 3, 2018
Aside from his defensive issues, Carmelo Anthony started to show some signs of a decline with his performance on the offensive end of the floor, making some league executives believe that he already played his last game in the NBA. However, Morey believes that Anthony still has lots of gas left in his tank. Once they officially part ways with Anthony, Morey is very confident that the 10-time NBA All-Star can easily find a new home.
“He’s a very talented player, like super skilled at a lot of things. Especially the ability to shoot and honestly the ability to get his shot off against multiple looks and situations. He’s also been in a lot of really big games.”
Carmelo Anthony may have been an odd fit in Houston, but he could potentially be a good addition to a team who needs a boost in their bench scoring. Expect more rumors to circulate around Anthony when his trade restriction expires on December 15.