Mike D’Antoni would be okay with the Rockets signing Carmelo Anthony, even though the two haven’t always seen eye-to-eye in the past.
On July 6, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young reported that the Thunder planned to part ties with Carmelo Anthony this summer. Doing so could save the franchise up to $100 million, which is a smart move for a team that isn’t a title contender.
It’s highly unlikely that any team will trade for Anthony and his $27.9 million salary. The Thunder will probably buy-out Anthony’s contract, which will make him a free agent. The Rockets reportedly have interest in signing Melo. Chris Paul, who is good friends with Anthony, is also advocating for the Rockets to sign Anthony.
The big question is if Mike D’Antoni wants Anthony in Houston. When D’Antoni coached Anthony in New York, they repeatedly bumped heads. D’Antoni, who is famous for his pace-and-space offense, suggested that the Knicks should change their playing style. He wanted to center the team’s offense around Jeremy Lin and move Carmelo Anthony up to power forward.
Anthony didn’t like that idea and he eventually gave the Knicks an ultimatum. The front office needed to get rid of either their superstar or their coach. That prompted Mike D’Antoni to resign, according to an ESPN Magazine profile from 2017.
Fortunately, time and distance has repaired those old wounds. Mike D’Antoni ‘would be fine’ if Carmelo joined the Rockets, according to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.
Ironically, the role that D’Antoni wanted Melo to play in New York is similar to his role in OKC and nearly identical to what his role would be in Houston. At this point in his career, Anthony is best as a stretch-four that can both catch-and-shoot and put the ball on the floor and score.
If he’s willing to make the needed sacrifices, Anthony could give Houston a great scoring punch off of the bench. Is Anthony willing to change his game in order to contribute on a contender? We’ll have to wait and see.