By Nay Kamari
The Houston Rockets are intending to sign Carmelo Anthony since he was waived by the Atlanta Hawks on Monday after being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 19th. He is set to sign a one-year deal worth $2.4 million (the veteran’s minimum). But is this a good move for Houston?
Last season, the Rockets ranked as the number one team in the league (65-17 record) and broke the franchise record for most wins in a season. Besides coming up short to the star-studded Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, it’s safe to say Houston had an almost flawless season. Melo, on the other hand, did not.
The 34-year-old is a 10x All-star, former NBA scoring champion, and is ranked 19th in NBA history on the on the all-time scoring list going into his 15th season. If you know him, you he’s been a headlining star his whole career. But as of recent, his stardom has been on a rapid decline. Last season with the Thunder he averaged 16 PPG on just a 40% FGP. These are the lowest numbers of his career.
On the bright side, the Rockets got rid of small forwards Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute this off season. Melo will help fill this three spot for them. But will he help lead Chris Paul and James Harden to another title contending season in the packed Western Conference?
Anthony surely isn’t known for his defense, so his shooting will definitely have to improve if he wants to play a role in Rockets’ victories. Ariza and Mbah a Moute combined for a nearly 46% FGP last season as key role players. Carmelo will need to pick up that slack for Houston to improve.
So whether he will make a positive or negative impact on Houston is hard to say. It all relies on his performance. Will we see 2013 Melo or 2017 Melo this season? We’ll see in due time.