Rumors: Rockets are ‘determined’ to sign Carmelo Anthony

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 30, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 30, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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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.

Next: Houston should sign Carmelo under these conditions

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.

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