Add the Houston Rockets to the list of teams that will try to pry Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks’ roster this summer. Houston had first expressed interest sometime before the trade deadline in February, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
During a broadcast of ESPN’s First Take earlier this week, Stephen A. Smith said the Los Angeles Lakers plan to fire coach Mike D’Antoni in the summer and will also make a bid to sign Anthony. However, the most intriguing story comes from Joakim Noah and his involvement in recruiting Anthony to join the resurgent Chicago Bulls during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.
Any team in the NBA will benefit having Anthony from a scoring perspective. He has been ranked in the top eight for points per game in the last eight years, and his continuing high scoring performances for a struggling New York team prove that he has not reached his prime yet.
But why would Houston look for Anthony when this team follows a different identity? The Rockets like a fast-paced offense with James Harden as the lead ball handler and playmaker. It will be interesting to see how Anthony can be utilized there as it has worked well for Dwight Howard in his first season, who also plays at a slower pace. Howard currently averages 18.6 points and 12.4 rebounds this season.
Also, the Rockets do not have the cap space to sign Anthony and could only acquire him through a sign-and-trade deal, possibly sending Jeremy Lin back to the Knicks along with Omer Asik. That would only happen if the Knicks plan on rebuilding for the future.
Houston seems to be a decent playoff team for years to come, but they also lack leadership. Adding Anthony would not fix their problems but instead improve the team’s offense that already ranks in the top four for points per game. Houston may be a better team with Anthony, but it’s not the best option for him if he plans to win a championship soon.