Carmelo Anthony‘s start with the Rockets has been rough, not living up to the organization or fans’ expectations.
It’s also just who Anthony is at this point in his career. His shooting and other numbers this season fall right in line with last season.
He can’t defend and opponents exploit that — Houston’s defense is 10.4 points per 100 possessions worse with him on the court. On offense, ‘Melo is what he has been for a few years now: A guy who can get a team inefficient buckets. Anthony is averaging 13.4 points per game coming off the bench (not a role he cherishes) but he is shooting just 40.5 percent overall and 32.8 percent from three. Bottom line, the Rockets have a net rating of -9 when Anthony is on the court and -0.2 with him sitting (that second number is still very concerning). The Rockets are 4-7, looking nothing like last year’s contender and searching for answers.
As part of that, the Rockets and Carmelo Anthony are talking about what his future would look like in Houston. From Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony are discussing his role with the team and how the franchise and 10-time All-Star forward still might be able to proceed together for the rest of the season, league sources told ESPN.
Talks are ongoing, the sources said.
Others have had the same report.
That doesn’t mean Anthony is out of the door. Yet.
Anthony, who thrives on midrange shots that the Rockets as a team avoid, was always an odd roster decision for the Moreyball Rockets. The team’s slow start has just put a focus on it earlier than expected.
What are they going to do about it is another question. From the Rockets’ side, it’s not a huge financial hit to move on from the veteran minimum contract Anthony is on. How it would play with Chris Paul, James Harden and in the locker room is another question. And even if the sides decided to part ways — which I would be surprised to see happen right now — where would the Rockets go from here? Or Anthony?
This all feels like it was predictable… because it was. But this is the Rockets’ bed now.