Last week, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta for point guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala. The Hawks are expected to release Anthony, and once he clears waivers, he’s expected to join the Houston Rockets on some sort of one-year deal.
Everything sounds good, right? Well… maybe. According to a report from SportsLine, Houston’s chances of winning an NBA title with Anthony on their roster this coming season would actually decrease from 4.8% to 3.9%.
If Carmelo Anthony signs with the Rockets, @SportsLine projections DECREASE Houston’s championship chances from 4.8% to 3.9%. pic.twitter.com/srTl18ZJ8M
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) July 23, 2018
The Thunder acquired Anthony, now 34 years of age, from the New York Knicks before the start of last season’s training camp. After waiving his no-trade clause, the former Syracuse stand-out took on a new role with OKC — one that included a position change (small forward to a stretch power forward).
“Melo,” as he’s came to be known, made 78 appearances with the Thunder during their 2017-18 regular-season campaign (all starts), averaging 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.
If Anthony joins the Rockets — and it sounds like he will — will he make the team better or worse? Houston was a good defensive squad last season. Melo will need to step his game up on that end of the floor if that trend is to continue. We all know he would help any team on the offensive end.
Though he’ll have other options to weigh, the Rockets — a true title contender — might be a good fit for Anthony. After all, odds can be beaten.