In news that no one could have possibly seen coming, it appears Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets might be re-evaluating their relationship after a slow start to the season for both parties.
With Anthony out for the Rockets’ game against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, the team and player are engaged in ongoing talks on how they “might still be able to proceed together for the rest of the season,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
You can imagine the two sides aren’t going to agree that the answer is increasing Anthony’s minutes.
The struggles of Carmelo Anthony and the Rockets
After opening the season coming off the bench for the first time in his NBA career, Anthony hasn’t exactly been an impact player on offense for the Rockets. The 34-year-old has averaged a career-low 13.4 points per game, and that’s not only because of his limited minutes. Going on a per-minute basis, Anthony’s points and assist numbers have seen a significant dip.
The Rockets likely weren’t expecting much when they signed Anthony to a veteran’s minimum $2.4 million deal this offseason, but he hasn’t even been very effective as a bench player. The situation reached its low point Thursday during Anthony’s “revenge” game against the Thunder, in which he scored two points on a horrific 1-of-11 shooting.
Anthony certainly isn’t the only problem for the 4-6 Rockets, who have gone from leading the NBA in scoring last year to ranking No. 26 entering Saturday, but it’s not hard to see changing his usage as a possible path to positive change. He’s already seen his minutes decline over the last few games, posting a season-low 24 on Monday, then undercutting that mark with 20 on Thursday.
What happens if the Rockets cut Carmelo Anthony?
Such an action wouldn’t be too complicated. As Wojnarowski notes, the Rockets would be on the hook for Anthony’s $2.4 million for this season if they decided to waive him.
If he clears waivers, Anthony would be free to sign with any team that wants him, and you’d figure the NBA isn’t out of such teams just yet.
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