James Harden is the league MVP. The Houston Rockets were one win away from the NBA Finals, but the Golden State Warriors ultimately triumphed. Now GM Daryl Morey is looking to add on by acquiring Carmelo Anthony. According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, he is set to join the Rockets as soon as he clears waivers.
We don’t think this move makes sense. Anthony didn’t take kindly to his diminished role in Oklahoma City last season. What makes anyone think that’ll change in Houston? For what it’s worth, Harden believes this to be a good move. Speaking to the Houston Chronicle’s Matt Young, Harden says:
“It would be a great acquisition for us. Melo’s a proven vet. He just wants to win at this point, so it would be great for him to be on our team. … The current roster we have now, we’ve got good guys back and we keep making forward progress.”
That’s not what the projections say, however. In fact, adding Anthony gives the Rockets less of a chance to win the title next season. That’s right, less. Per CBS Sports, here’s how it shakes out:
“If Carmelo Anthony signs with the Rockets, Sports Line projections DECREASE Houston’s championship chances from 4.8% to 3.9%.”
For the first time in his career, Melo didn’t average at least 20 points per game last season. Instead he put up just 16.2 points per game, shooting 35.7 percent from long range. In theory, that’s only going to get better once he links up with the Rockets. Here’s the thing, though. Houston already lost Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza this offseason. Adding Anthony doesn’t address either of those losses. Veteran minimum or not, this is a puzzling deal. It looks like friendship really does go a long way.
Can Houston make it work?