Rockets ‘determined to sign’ Carmelo Anthony after losing Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Moute
One of the chief reasons why the Houston Rockets succeeded to become the Western Conference’s best regular season team last season was the play of their versatile and rugged wing players, particularly the trio composed of Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Moute, and P.J. Tucker.
Out of those three players, only Tucker remains in Houston after Ariza signed with the Phoenix Suns and Mbah a Moute going back to the L.A. Clippers. Losing both Ariza and Mbah a Moute in the same summer is a punch to the gut of Houston, as the two provided excellent perimeter defense for the Rockets while also helping stretch the floor on the other end of the floor with their ability to knock down shots from distance.
The arrival of Mbah a Moute to Houston last year, along with Tucker, bookmarked Houston’s rise from being 18th in the league in defensive rating in the 2016-17 season to sixth in 2017-18 campaign, in which the team allowed just 103.4 points per their opponents’ 100 possessions.
Other than securing the services of center Clint Capela for at least one more season, finding replacements for Ariza and Mbah a Moute appears to be next to the Rockets’ priority list, which is also why the team is taking a long and hard look at the possibility of adding Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony to Houston’s fold, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Rockets lose two forwards now — including Ariza — from NBA’s best regular season team. Houston is detemined to sign Carmelo Anthony once he becomes free in OKC, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/SfHAWntNlH
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 9, 2018
Anthony’s partnership with the Thunder is not expected to last beyond this offseason with his contract on the verge of getting bought out by Oklahoma City.
Should Carmelo Anthony sign with the Rockets, he’s going to be expected to play plenty of minutes with Houston’s forward slot a bit thin on talent. How he will fit in with the team is another question, however.
Anthony appeared in 78 games for the Thunder a season ago and put up 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 32.1 minutes per game.