While many have been puzzled at the Houston Rockets' reported decision to cut Carmelo Anthony after a dubious start to the season, it could be an undrafted rookie who takes over his minutes in this rotation, after forward Gary Clark has done all the right things to impress head coach Mike D'Antoni.
According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, if Anthony is waived, his spot on the roster is likely to be filled by signing Clark, who is currently on a two-way contract, to a minimum deal.
Clark has become a favorite of D'Antoni and has earned some of the minutes expected to go to Anthony.
“Gary Clark's a player,” D'Antoni said after the Rockets outscored the Indiana Pacers by 16 during Clark's 33 minutes Sunday. “He's a player. Defense, rebounding, right position, shoots the ball. I mean, he's a player.”
Clark might not have the makings of being a Hall of Fame player, but he is what this Rockets team needs now — a player who can play defense and chip in with the occasional scoring to aid the backcourt of Chris Paul and James Harden.
D'Antoni's mandate is to find a way to win, but he's struggling to do so by giving minutes to more offensive-minded players, while already having glaring mistakes on defense and sorely missing the veteran presence of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute as anchors.