Carmelo Anthony Rumors: 76ers 'Kicking the Tires' on SF If Released by Rockets

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2018

Houston Rockets' Carmelo Anthony watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers could be among the teams interested in Carmelo Anthony if he is released by the Houston Rockets.

Chris Sheridan of Get More Sports reported the news Monday, noting the Sixers are "kicking the tires" on making a waiver claim on Anthony. However, Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice spoke to a team source who "categorically" denied the report from Sheridan.

The Rockets and Melo appear to be headed for a divorce after he's seen action in just 10 games out of 12. He has been held out of Houston's last two contests with an illness as rumors have persisted about his departure. ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon reported several Rockets players do not expect Anthony to return.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey spoke to reporters before Sunday's win over the Indiana Pacers and said those scapegoating Anthony have been "unfair."

"We've been extremely happy with his approach," Morey said. "Every reason we've brought him here, he's followed. Again, that's why he's here. It's unfair that there's all this speculation on just one player. I understand it, because he's obviously a Hall of Famer, but it's unfair."

Anthony has averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game with the Rockets but has been an awkward fit on both ends of the floor. His defense, in particular, has been difficult to mask—the team allows 9.1 more points per 100 possessions when he's on the floor, per NBA.com—and Houston has been impressed with the play of undrafted rookie Gary Clark.

MacMahon reported the Rockets are expected to sign Clark to an NBA contract once the Anthony situation is sorted out. Clark is playing on a two-way deal.

The Sixers need help at the 4 spot after agreeing to trade Robert Covington and Dario Saric to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Anthony is an imperfect fit, but Philly might be forced into a less than ideal situation given the relative dearth of other options available.