Anthony could come off bench for Rockets

Carmelo Anthony has started every NBA game of his career.

Carmelo Anthony will sign his one-year, $2.4 million deal with the Houston Rockets Monday and the veteran scorer could come off the bench for the team, according to a report from ESPN.

Anthony will compete for a starting spot in training camp, but ultimately could come off the bench — based on whatever head coach Mike DAntoni decides makes most sense for the Rockets, per the report.

Many around the league aren’t so sure Anthony will make the Rockets better. In his lone season with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017-18, Anthony averaged a career-low 16.2 points per game and shot only 40.4 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Despite having a down year with the Thunder, Anthony’s close pal, Chris Paul, advocated the Rockets to sign Anthony. Paul, Anthony and 2018 MVP James Harden had a training session together before Anthony left for Africa and the trio “played unbelievable together,” according to Anthony’s trainer, Chris Brickley.

In an interview with ESPN last month, Anthony said he wouldn’t come off the bench because he still believes he’s a high-level player.

“I know how to play this game of basketball,” Anthony told ESPN. “I’ve been playing it for a long time. When I feel like I’m ready to take that role, then I’ll take that role. Only I know when it’s best for me to take that role. I’m not going to do that in a situation where I still know my capabilities and what I can do. And at the end of the day, the people who really matter know my capabilities and what I can still do. You start getting to the media and debates, it’s going to always be kind of back-and-forth.”

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. The Rockets lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency. Houston’s starting lineup will definitely feature Paul, Harden, P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela. That fifth and final spot could be Anthony’s, but we’ll have to wait and see what D’Antoni decides to do.