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Carmelo Anthony will sign a one-year, $2.4 million deal with the Houston Rockets within the next few days, and his close pal, Chris Paul, is excited to finally join forces with the veteran scorer.
Paul wanted the Los Angeles Clippers to trade for Anthony when he was still in Los Angeles, but Doc Rivers never pulled the trigger. Paul’s bond with Rivers began to deteriorate after Rivers decided not to trade for Anthony in a deal that would have included Rivers’ son, Austin Rivers.
Once Anthony joins the Rockets, he’ll enter the starting lineup. Houston lost its starting small forward from last season, Trevor Ariza, to the Phoenix Suns in free agency.
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.
Despite having a down year with the Thunder, Paul is still thrilled to acquire Anthony. The All-Star point guard has been advocating the Rockets to sign Anthony for the past month.
“A lot of things,” Paul said on what excites him the most to play with Anthony. “Melo, like a lot of the guys on the team, always plays like he has something to prove. And obviously the friendship, brotherhood that we share. It’s always nice to play with someone you’re close with.”
Anthony, Paul and 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.
The Rockets lost to the Golden State Warriors in seven games in the Western Conference Finals. Houston took a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6, but Paul missed Games 6 and 7 with a hamstring injury and the Rockets weren’t able to close out the series without their floor general.