Carmelo Anthony is one step closer to joining the Houston Rockets, according to reports from Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports and Sam Amick and Jace Evans of USA Today. Here’s more from Charania on the pending move:
Carmelo Anthony has verbally reached an agreement to sign with the Houston Rockets, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Anthony cleared free-agency waivers last week after a trade to the Atlanta Hawks on July 30 and his subsequent release, but had yet to commit to the Rockets. Anthony informed Houston of his decision to sign Tuesday after returning from Africa, league sources said. Anthony had unveiled a refurbished basketball court in South Africa last week.
After the loss of forwards Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, the Rockets prioritized Anthony, and the 10-time All-Star worked out repeatedly with Houston stars James Harden and Chris Paul this summer.
Anthony was waived by the Atlanta Hawks on July 30, after being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 19. Per various reports, the veteran forward is expected to join Chris Paul, James Harden and the Rockets now that he has officially entered the free-agent player pool. According to Wojnarowski, the contract is expected to be a one-year deal worth $2.4 million.
On Aug. 7, Charania confirmed Anthony and the Rockets verbally agreed to a deal that Anthony will sign when he returns from an offseason trip to Africa.
Anthony’s lone season in Oklahoma City was largely a bust. He averaged 16.2 points and struggled at times in his new role alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. The 10-time All-Star posted career lows in scoring average and field goal percentage, and the Thunder were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Utah.
The 34-year-old Anthony had been the headliner his entire career — he’s 19th in NBA history with 25,417 points — but he was more of a catch-and-shoot scorer last season instead of the isolation specialist he had always been. His playing time dwindled in the playoffs. In Game 6 of the first-round series against Utah that ended Oklahoma City’s season, he played fewer minutes than reserve Jerami Grant. After the season, he said he prefers to play with the ball in his hands more and said coming off the bench is “out of the question.”
Anthony opted in earlier this summer to accept the $28 million he was due next season. The Thunder re-signed Grant, then it was reported that Anthony and the Thunder would eventually part ways, though it was unclear how it would happen.
Anthony would help the Rockets fill their void at forward after the team lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute during free agency.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.