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The time has come for Carmelo Anthony to join the Houston Rockets.
That’s the latest from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported Anthony has landed in Houston for a physical, and is signing a one-year, $2.4 million contract today.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey confirmed the move.
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) August 13, 2018
Anthony is coming off one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he appeared to be more of an old Anthony than the Anthony of old. The Rockets are hoping he can become the latter next to reigning league MVP James Harden and point guard Chris Paul, a close friend of Carmelo.
“Anthony met with GM Daryl Morey and coach Mike D’Antoni in Las Vegas during summer league,” Wojnarowski reported. “The Thunder granted permission to do, once the sides decided that a parting was imminent. Anthony had also met with the Miami Heat, and considered signing there.”
Anthony could start or come off the bench at small forward under D’Antoni — Anthony’s coach with the New York Knicks who is now in his third season with the Rockets. The two-time defending champion Rockets took the Golden State Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference finals.
They think Anthony is still good enough to help them take the next step.
“A lot of things,” Paul told reporters about what Anthony brings to the team. “Melo is like a lot of the guys on the team, always playing like we have something to prove. And obviously the friendship, brotherhood that we share. It’s always nice to play with someone you’re close with.”
Anthony, 34, averaged a career-low 16.2 points on a career-worst 40 percent shooting in 78 games with the Thunder last season.
Still, the Rockets believe he will be a productive fit.
“I think what Carmelo brings us is a guy who can go get us a bucket,” Rockets assistant coach Irv Roland told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on Scoop B Radio. “The trend in the league now is to do a lot of switching defensively and you need guys who when the play breaks down, they can go get you a bucket and take the pressure and stress off of CP and James.
“Melo is one of the most special scorers that this league has seen and I think with the way that we play, he’ll be able to operate easier than he has probably on any other team that he’s been on.”