Carmelo Anthony Rumors: Clippers Not Interested in Signing SF If Cut by Rockets

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers are not interested in signing Carmelo Anthony if the 10-time All-Star is released by the Houston Rockets, according to the Los Angeles Times' Dan Woike

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that Anthony's camp is exploring potential destinations, as the Rockets are likely to waive him in the near future.

Anthony has struggled to adapt to his bench role in Houston, averaging 13.4 points on 40.5 percent shooting and 5.4 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game. He has started just twice in 10 appearances.

However, Anthony has missed the past two games due to "illness" and is not expected to return to the team anytime soon as his future remains up in the air.

This comes a season after the "OK3" experiment did not go as planned. Anthony was forced to take on a complementary role behind Russell Westbrook and Paul George with the Oklahoma City Thunder, even finding himself on the bench in key moments. Following a first-round exit, the Thunder opted to move on from Anthony during the offseason. 

Oklahoma City traded Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks, who bought the forward out. That opened the door for Anthony to team up with friend Chris Paul and former coach Mike D'Antoni in Houston.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey called the rumors of a potential Melo release "unfair speculation" on Sunday.

"He's been great with us," Morey said of Anthony, per Wojnarowski and ESPN colleague Tim MacMahon. "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."

That has done nothing to silence the notion Anthony has put on a Rockets uniform for the last time.

It's not clear what teams would be interested in adding the former scoring champ if he becomes available. While saying the Clippers (8-5, tied for fourth in the West) aren't a possibility, Woike didn't rule out the Lakers (7-6), although he called it "unlikely." Of course, one of Melo's best friends, LeBron James, joined the Lakers this past offseason.

At 34 years old, Anthony opted to take on a reduced role this offseason in order to try to chase a championship. Things haven't worked out so far in Houston, so if he hits the open market, it will be interesting to see if any contenders come calling.