The long wait is over, NBA fans. Carmelo Anthony is officially signing with the Houston Rockets today, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Free agent Carmelo Anthony plans to sign his one-year, $2.4M deal with the Houston Rockets today, league sources tell ESPN. He traveled to Houston and he’s completing his physical.”
But wait, there’s more! Anthony plans to fight for a starting spot, Woj adds. However, as we know, that just simply isn’t up to him.
“Of course, Carmelo Anthony will compete for a starting spot in training camp, but ultimately could come off the bench — based on whatever Mike D’Antoni decides makes most sense for Rockets.”
Starting Carmelo maybe isn’t the best idea for the Rockets. But again, that’s not our call. D’Antoni knows what he’s doing over there, so it’ll be interesting to see what he ultimate decides. The last time these two worked together — with the New York Knicks — things didn’t end well. The Rockets are banking on being a genuine contender to ease Anthony. After all, the 15-year pro is coming off the worst season of his career.
UPDATE: The deal is done, per GM Daryl Morey.
Despite playing in 78 games — his most since 2005-06 — Anthony put up a career-low in points per game (16.2). For the first time in his career, he didn’t average at least 20 points per contest. His career average is 24.1. Now, being on one of the best offenses in the league should help a little, but it is unlikely to make up for their losses on defense this offseason. Losing Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency hurts.
If Carmelo can discover his pre-OKC form, that’s great. It even probably makes up for the defensive shortcomings. But if he plays as poorly as he did last season, this could get pretty messy. And quickly.
At this point, we have no idea what to expect.