The Houston Rockets want to sign Carmelo Anthony in free agency after the team lost its two best small forwards.
So far, this has not been a very good offseason for the Houston Rockets.
The first blow was Trevor Ariza signing a one-year, $15 million deal with the Phoenix Suns. On Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Luc Mbah a Moute signed a $4.3 million deal with the Clippers.
There are plenty of players on the market that can replace Ariza and Mbah a Moute’s scoring. But the Rockets will be hard-pressed to replace the defensive versatility of Ariza and Mbah a Moute. Not only could those guys shut down forwards, but they could also effectively switch on to point guards and even centers. They were the biggest reason Houston had so much success switching on every pick-and-roll.
The Rockets are now turning their focus to Carmelo Anthony in order to help fill the void at forward. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Houston is ‘determined’ to sign the 10-time All-Star.
Rockets lose two forwards now — including Ariza — from NBA’s best regular season team. Houston is detemined to sign Carmelo Anthony once he becomes free in OKC, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/SfHAWntNlH
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 9, 2018
Some Rockets’ fans want the team to avoid signing Anthony. That’s understandable, but he can definitely replace the scoring that Houston lost due to Ariza’s departure. On Sunday, reports surfaced that Chris Paul is advocating for the Rockets to sign Anthony. On Monday, Mike D’Antoni said that he ‘would be fine’ with Houston acquiring Anthony, according to a report.
If the Thunder waive Anthony, the Rockets look like the favorites to sign him. Houston should immediately shift their focus to acquiring a defensive minded forward if they sign Anthony. The Rockets probably prefer to bring Melo off of the bench so that he would have more freedom to operate with the second unit.
If Houston wants to finish as a top 10 team on defense again, they have to sign another wing defender. Restricted free agent Rodney Hood from the Cavaliers is a good place to start.