Once he's waived by the Atlanta Hawks, Carmelo Anthony is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets for the vet minimum.
Anthony has been telling people for more than a week that he’ll ultimately wind up with Houston. Chris Paul, Anthony's close pal, has been advocating the Rockets to sign Anthony.
It appears once Anthony joins the Rockets, he'll enter the starting lineup. Houston lost its starting small forward from last season, Trevor Ariza, to the Phoenix Suns in free agency.
Many around the league believe at this stage of his career, Anthony would be better suited to come off the bench. The veteran scorer, however, strongly disagrees with that take.
“I know how to play this game of basketball,” Anthony told ESPN. "I’ve been playing it for a long time. When I feel like I’m ready to take that role, then I’ll take that role. Only I know when it’s best for me to take that role. I’m not going to do that in a situation where I still know my capabilities and what I can do. And at the end of the day, the people who really matter know my capabilities and what I can still do. You start getting to the media and debates, it’s going to always be kind of back-and-forth.”
Anthony’s lone season with the Oklahoma City Thunder was a disappointment. The 34-year-old averaged a career-low 16.2 points per game during the regular season and shot only 40.4 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.
The playoffs were an even bigger struggle for Anthony. In the six-game series loss to the Utah Jazz, Anthony averaged 11.8 points while shooting a woeful 37.5 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Thunder had an offensive rating of 98.6 when Anthony was on the court compared to 116.8 when he was on the bench.
Anthony says at the end of the day, winning will help change the negative narrative that is following him.
“I think winning, at the end of the day, rewrites everything,” Anthony said. “It settles everything. I also look back at this past year. When we were winning, the story was written already. When we started losing, the story is written. It’s almost premeditated. I’m playing ball. I’m happy. I’m excited about what’s to come, wherever that may be.”