Since the day the rumors started that Carmelo Anthony was headed to Houston, the question that came up was:
“Does he really fit there?”
Defensively he does not replace Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. Offensively, would he accept a role? Outside Houston there have been a lot of questions, but within the team there have not been. GM Daryl Morey is on board, Chris Paul says it will work, and so did James Harden.
Add P.J. Tucker to the list. He was on ESPN’s The Jump and said this about Anthony (hat tip Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic).
I think this is going to fit better than some people think — Anthony wants to win, respects CP3 and Harden, and coach Mike D’Antoni is not going to try to force a square peg into a round hole like he did in New York. Anthony can still get a team buckets, still punish mismatches, and will get his touches.
The challenge is Anthony’s game is in decline, he is not as efficient as he once was. Father time wins every race and he’s starting to catch up with the 34-year-old Anthony. He’s not the player he was four or five seasons ago, and the guy the Rockets are getting is more rotation player than All-Star now, especially on a team where the Rockets don’t want to take the ball out of the hands of their two main stars.
But we shouldn’t bash Houston, Anthony will help them in areas. The Rockets are still the second best team in the West (in my book) and a contender, but their margin for error shrunk this summer. And it was already very small.