The Rockets’ discussions with Carmelo Anthony are related to a possible reduction in playing time moving forward, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Eric Gordon returned to the lineup Saturday night after missing three games with a hip injury, and rookie Gary Clark has moved into the rotation with his impressive play, particularly on defense. That may leave even less time for Anthony, who is already averaging a career-low 29.4 minutes per game in his first season in Houston.
The Rockets have been using Anthony as a backup power forward, hoping to expand his minutes when the matchups permit it. However, the team’s offense has been so bad that it has been forced to keep games close through defense, which isn’t Anthony’s strong point.
Feigen adds that the illness that kept Anthony out of Saturday’s game was legitimate, not a negotiating ploy. However, he states that Anthony will have to decide whether he wants to remain with the franchise if it means an even smaller role.
There’s more this morning out of Texas:
- Gordon should get a little break from trade rumors now that Jimmy Butler has been dealt to the Sixers. Frequently mentioned as part of an offer to Minnesota, Gordon told Kelly Iko of The Athletic that he understands the business side of the league. “All I can do is go out there and play,” he said. “The only tough thing is some of your friends always come to you with, ‘Do you think you’re gonna be traded?’ That’s the only annoying thing. At the end of the day I’m just a basketball player and I have to control what I can control.”
- A hamstring injury that forced Devin Harris to miss 10 games may have sparked the Mavericks veteran to consider coaching, relays Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Harris, who returned to the lineup Saturday, said he got a different perspective on the game while sidelined. “I’ve kind of been forced to in our situation, just trying to help get everybody on the same page, what I see as a player, what I see that the coaches want and try to mend that together,” he said. “I see what drives Coach crazy sometimes, but I also see the players’ frustrations.”
- The Spurs aren’t releasing much information on Pau Gasol‘s condition, but he probably won’t be with the team on its three-game road trip, tweets Jabari Young of The Athletic. The team is calling it “soreness,” but Gasol had a walking boot on his left foot last night.