Report: Carmelo Anthony to Sign $2.4M Contract with Rockets After Hawks Buyout

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 21: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts to his basket during Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 21, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony is reportedly planning to sign a one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Houston Rockets once he's released by the Atlanta Hawks and clears waivers following his trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

On Monday, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported "Rockets officials have been operating under the strong belief that Anthony will soon be Houston-bound," though the three-way trade sending him to Atlanta could still take a few days to become official, and Anthony will need to wait 48 hours to clear waivers.

If there are no unexpected roadblocks along the way, Melo will join a Houston roster that already features reigning MVP shooting guard James Harden and star point guard Chris Paul.

While it's a move that will give the Rockets more firepower after losing to the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals last season, it's still unclear how Anthony will fit in when he's not the focal point of an offense.

The 34-year-old Syracuse product entered a similar situation with the Thunder, who acquired him from the New York Knicks last September, and never seemed to find a comfort zone alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

He averaged a career-low 16.2 points during the 2017-18 campaign while shooting a career-worst 40.4 percent from the field across 78 appearances.

Nevertheless, Harden expressed optimism about Anthony's ability to help the Rockets attempt to dethrone the Warriors and chase an NBA title, per Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle.

"It would be a great acquisition for us," Harden said Friday. "Melo's a proven vet. He just wants to win at this point, so it would be great for him to be on our team. The current roster we have now, we've got good guys back and we keep making forward progress."

Melo would likely enter the starting lineup in favor of P.J. Tucker at small forward, but the fellow veteran's defensive prowess could force head coach Mike D'Antoni into some tough decisions during crunch time.

All told, Anthony's willingness to accept his place in the supporting cast rather than the lead role will likely determine whether his stay with the Rockets is a success.


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