Houston Rockets "Strong Frontrunners" To Land Carmelo Anthony

Ruben Hill
July 16, 2018

The Rockets have lost Mbah a Moute, 31, and Trevor Ariza, and plan to ramp up a pursuit of Carmelo Anthony once he becomes available after a trade and buyout, or waive and stretch, with Oklahoma City, league sources told ESPN. After all, Anthony would be a first-option scorer in Miami and consolidate the offense, an opportunity he didn't get in Oklahoma City next to power players Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

Anthony was borderline abysmal last season so it's interesting that a number of playoff teams, including a Rockets team that was 24 minutes from the NBA Finals would look to add him to the roster. Salary cap enthusiast Albert Nahmad pointed out how Chicago could be a potential trade partner for OKC. "At some point here, it's expected they will do a waive and stretch".

Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he ultimately controls his own destiny. D'Antoni and Anthony didn't see eye to eye during their time with the New York Knicks but the coach "would be fine with Anthony coming to Houston", according to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post. He didn't name any specific teams that had serious interest in trading for Anthony, which suggests the Thunder haven't made any real progress in trade negotiations.

The fact Anthony opted into his $27.9 million deal for the 2018-19 season, alongside the mutual understanding that his scaled-back role with the Thunder isn't what he wants, have dictated that he'll sign with a new team sometime this summer. Doing so would save Oklahoma City a whopping $107 million in salary and luxury tax.

According to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania, it is indeed the Rockets who are most likely to land Melo once he officially becomes a free agent.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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