Carmelo Anthony is finally expected to sign with the Houston Rockets on Monday after completing a physical examination. Exactly how the team will utilize the 10-time All-Star is still up for debate, but it sounds like he might be coming off the bench, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Rockets are expected to bring Anthony off the bench this season, signing him after winning an NBA-best 65 regular season games and pushing the Golden State Warriors to a seven-game series in the Western Conference finals.
Anthony had recently scoffed at the idea of coming off the bench, but it appears he may have changed his tune. Perhaps having pal Chris Paul in his ear helped him reverse course.
Anthony, now 34 years of age, recently received $25.5 million of his original 2018-19 salary in a buyout from the Atlanta Hawks. The former Syracuse standout waived his no-trade clause earlier this summer, which allowed the Oklahoma City Thunder to send him to Atlanta in a three-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. He will make $2.4 million in Houston to reach the $27.9 million he was originally owed.
Anthony has long been known as one of the NBA’s best scoring options, though he took a major step back in his lone season in Oklahoma City. In his 78 appearances with the Thunder last season, the former No. 3 overall pick posted averages of 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting from the field (35.7 percent from beyond the arc), 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 32.1 minutes per outing.
The Rockets could use Anthony’s help, as the team lost some of its depth at the forward position in free agency, including Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. How Mike D’Antoni decides to use Anthony will be something to watch all year, and this appears to be a good start.