By Joel Deering
After being traded to the Atlanta Hawks, Carmelo Anthony will get a buyout from the team and be released, but he won’t be out of work for long. As soon as Anthony clears waivers, the former OKC forward will sign with the Houston Rockets.
By the becoming a member of the Rockets, Anthony will join the reigning MVP, James Harden, and his long time friend and All-Star, Chris Paul. Harden and Paul were able to get within one game of the NBA Finals last season. Will adding Melo help them get past the Warriors?
Back when a Melo trade or release was in the works by OKC, I had written an article titled, “Better Fit for Melo: Lakers or Rockets?” I chose the Rockets as the better fit for Melo, but I still had questions about if he really fit in here or not. The loss of Trevor Ariza left a spot to be filled, and Carmelo Anthony is a much better scorer than Ariza, but he’s also a lot worse defensively. Can his offense make up for his lack of defense?
While the lack of defense may be a concern, it’s not my biggest concern about Melo in Houston. My biggest concern is how Melo will react to his role in Houston. It’s obvious he didn’t like being the third option in OKC. We all know he wasn’t willing to accept a bench role for the team. That’s what really concerns me about this move.
With James Harden and Chris Paul on the team, Carmelo Anthony will be the third option. He’s going to have to adjust to that if this is going to work. Everyone questioned if James Harden and Chris Paul would work together. It worked a lot better than most people thought because they were both willing to adjust. Carmelo Anthony has never shown he’s willing to do that.
Anthony was the guy in Denver and New York, and none of his teams ever had that much success. As soon as he got to OKC, Melo didn’t like it because he didn’t get the ball all the time. I can’t believe he honestly thought he would get the ball more over Russell Westbrook and Paul George. He probably thinks he’s going to get the ball more or just as much as James Harden and Chris Paul. Sorry Melo, but that’s not going to happen.
I can see why a team would want Melo, but in my opinion this is a disaster waiting to happen for Houston. Melo wants the ball, but so does Harden and Paul. Melo can score, but he requires a lot of shots to get his points. His field goal percentage has declined each of the last four seasons. With how much James Harden and Chris Paul handle the ball, Melo isn’t going to like his touches. He’s going to continue being the same selfish player he’s always been. He’ll continue to be unwilling to do what’s best for his team.
Houston, we have a problem.