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The three-team trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks became official Wednesday. Anthony will be waived by Atlanta so he can join a team of his choice.
Anthony is widely expected to sign a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets for the vet minimum. The veteran scorer has been telling people for more than a week that he’ll ultimately wind up with Houston.
Anthony’s lone season with the Oklahoma City Thunder was a disappointment. The 34-year-old averaged a career-low 16.2 points per game during the regular season and shot only 40.4 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.
The playoffs were an even bigger struggle for Anthony. In the six-game series loss to the Utah Jazz, Anthony averaged 11.8 points while shooting a woeful 37.5 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Thunder had an offensive rating of 98.6 when Anthony was on the court compared to 116.8 when he was on the bench.
Anthony says ultimately things didn’t work out with the Thunder because of timing.
“At the end of the day, it wasn’t a good fit,” Anthony told ESPN. “I think last year — and I haven’t talked about this before — everything was just so rushed, going to the team for media day and the day before training camp. Them guys already had something in place, and then I come along in the 25th hour like, oh s—, Melo just come on and join us. Like, you can figure it out since you’ve been around the game for a long time. That’s why it was so inconsistent. At times, I had to figure it out on my own rather than somebody over there or people over there helping me.”
Anthony’s pal, Chris Paul, has been advocating the Rockets to sign Anthony, who met with Houston officials in Las Vegas.
The Rockets can offer Anthony a starting spot after losing Trevor Ariza in free agency.
“I think winning, at the end of the day, rewrites everything,” Anthony said. “It settles everything. I also look back at this past year. When we were winning, the story was written already. When we started losing, the story is written. It’s almost premeditated. I’m playing ball. I’m happy. I’m excited about what’s to come, wherever that may be.”