Carmelo Anthony Plans To Sign With Rockets

Veteran forward Carmelo Anthony plans to sign with the Rockets once he officially becomes a free agent, two people with knowledge of his plans tell Marc Stein of The New York Times. According to Stein, Anthony is expected to finalize a one-year, minimum-salary contract with Houston.

Anthony is still technically a member of the Thunder, but a three-team trade that would send him to Atlanta has been agreed upon and should be made official at some point in the coming days. The Hawks would waive the 34-year-old after acquiring him, clearing the way for him to join the Rockets 48 hours later, once he clears waivers. Due to his $27.93MM salary, there’s no chance of Anthony being claimed off waivers by another team.

While Anthony reportedly drew interest from the Heat and possibly the Lakers too, the Rockets have long been considered the frontrunners for his services. Houston lost a pair of forwards in free agency earlier this month when Trevor Ariza headed to the Suns and Luc Mbah a Moute agreed to a deal with the Clippers.

Anthony isn’t exactly a three-and-D wing like Ariza and Mbah a Moute are, but he’ll provide the Rockets with another scorer to complement James Harden and Chris Paul. In his first and only season in Oklahoma City, Anthony averaged 16.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG with a shooting line of .404/.357/.767.

Asked on Friday about the possibility of teaming up with Anthony, Harden expressed enthusiasm about the idea, as Matt Young of The Houston Chronicle details.

“It would be a great acquisition for us,” Harden said. “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.”

For Anthony, joining the Rockets will mean reuniting with Mike D’Antoni, who previous coached the 10-time All-Star in New York. The two men had a rocky relationship during their time together with the Knicks, but recent reports have indicated that D’Antoni welcomes the chance to coach Anthony again, having made it clear during a meeting earlier this month that the circumstances would be much different this time around.

By signing Anthony to a minimum-salary contract, the Rockets will retain their $5.34MM taxpayer mid-level exception. While there may not be many free agents left who are worth using that exception on this summer, it could come in handy during the season if there’s a player Houston likes on the buyout market.

Although the Rockets aren’t technically into luxury-tax territory yet, they’re expected to blow past that threshold when they eventually re-sign restricted free agent Clint Capela. At that point, using their MLE or adding salary in other ways would become exponentially more expensive unless the Rockets can shed salary in another move.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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22 thoughts on “Carmelo Anthony Plans To Sign With Rockets

    • DaveP

      From reports, it seems like Atlanta is still shifting around some of their roster to make the cap numbers work the best. It’s only a matter of time until it is completed.

    • madmanTX

      I heard it was something with the 76ers having to make roster moves and then Melo having to clear waivers first.

  1. victorg

    I thought for sure he would at least command the MLE. I wonder what they are planning on doing with that.

    • Z-A

      Well they are waiving him not buying him out. So he isnt losing money this year.

    • SKbreesy

      The reports are he’s getting his full $27 million in the buyout from Atl, so signing for the minimum, allows Hou to possibly sign a decent player with the MLE.

  2. Sure it feels like this is the beginning of the end for Houston, what a shame I wished they could have taken their chance last WFC, oh well, hopefully the Lakers now can go face off with Golden State.

  3. khines939

    Cesc say stupid things how u know if the rockets going to be good or not

      • imindless

        Not really. Rockets arent a very good team anymore esspecially paying 80 million for 2 players one that almost 35. Whos playing defense? Keep sleeping on lakers though!

  4. afsooner02

    Good luck with that Houston. Remember he “ain’t sacrificing no bench role”.

    • madmanTX

      And RIP your “chaces” of winning a spelling bee. Pfft Warriors fans…smh

  5. all in ad

    Houston will not be as good. They were beating warriors because Ariza and moute were guarding aggressively. Gone. Melo is a cancer. Does the GM not remember how melo/d’antoni fought in NYC????? Melo expects to start, is overweight, plays zero defense….can’t hit his shot anymore. Take the wins under in vegas!

    • victorg

      Luc was a total non factor in the GSW series… they we ahead because they roped DURANT into ISO HERO BALL but ARIZA AND HARDEN AND GORDNON all decided to disappear.

  6. Melo isn’t any “sort of” three-and-D wing. He can hit the 3, but at a below (league) average rate. He gives you nothing on D, except a smirk when he misses an assignment and his man scores. It’s a stretch to even call him a wing.

    • I thought Houston-Golden State should have been the championship series last season, not the Warriors-Cavs. I’d like to see Houston-Golden State again in the Western conference finals. I know KD said he’d like to retire when he’s 35. I’d like to see him in 9 consecutive finals.

      • CBS Sportsline has predictions for all 30 teams next season. They have Toronto@58.4 wins, Boston@56.4, and Philadelphia@ 53.7 in the east and Golden State@64.7, Houston@51.8, and LA@50.9 in the west. I think the Lakers have too many players with character problems to finish that high. They remind of the old Pacers team with Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, and Jamaal Tinsley. Who can forget the brawl in Detroit.

  7. formerlyz

    The Miami Heat aren’t for everyone. Too bad. I feel like they could help extend Melo’s career. I dont feel like he will be a bad fit in Houston, but I also thought he fit both OKC and Miami better.

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