With All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony‘s departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder bound to happen soon, two teams — the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets — have risen above other suitors to acquire the journeyman. However, it looks like one of the teams has topped Anthony’s list:
The Houston Rockets have emerged as strong frontrunners to acquire Carmelo Anthony once he is free from Oklahoma City, league sources tell Yahoo. Anthony also has considered Miami.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 13, 2018
When reports surfaced earlier this week that Miami had already met with Anthony in Las Vegas, there was considerable hope he might come to South Beach. Heat president Pat Riley has a superb history in wooing stars and getting them to buy in. After all, Anthony would be a first-option scorer in Miami and consolidate the offense, an opportunity he didn’t get in Oklahoma City next to power players Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Yet, it looks Anthony will likely continue that backseat role in Houston if he joins forces with MVP James Harden and Chris Paul. Although his function would be smaller in Houston than in Miami, the forward would get an immediate chance to compete for a championship. The Rockets took the Golden State Warriors to seven games in the conference finals, and could have possibly advanced had Paul not gotten injured.
Although his production dropped off last season, Anthony can still give a team a huge scoring punch. The 34-year-old averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 78 starts last season. In addition, the 15-year pro can help stabilize a locker room and provide a solid veteran presence to a competing team.
While the Heat look like they’ll miss out on Anthony, it was respectable that they were even in the conversation considering this was expected to be a quiet offseason. On Thursday night, the team took care of their main free agency objective by retaining sharpshooting guard Wayne Ellington. Now, the team will focus in on bringing back franchise legends Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem.