First off I would like to thank Chris Porter, @bigport212, for co-authoring this article with me. Now, there have been trade rumors going around that the Houston Rockets are close to acquiring Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo recently came out and said that he expects the trade to get done very soon. Well, I am here to tell you why Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets would be good for the NBA. The first reason is that it would build another ‘superteam’ to contend against the Golden State Warriors. Second, the NBA needs Carmelo Anthony to play on a contending team.
There is no way past it, the NBA is becoming something we have never seen before. The only way to contend is to build a superteam. These ‘superteams’ needs to have three perennial All-Stars. Enter Carmelo Anthony onto the Rockets. We have come to a dead-end in the NBA where the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are locked into the NBA Finals each and every year, but if the Rockets could find a way to acquire Anthony it would make it much more interesting. Now, I’m not saying the Houston Rockets are going to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, but after acquiring arguably the best point guard Chris Paul and adding him to MVP runner-up James Harden, the Rockets could be very deadly adding Anthony to that group. No team is going to stop the Warriors from scoring, so you might as well try to score with them. Just imagine, Chris Paul running the point, James Harden with his dribble drive and pull-up game off the wing, Carmelo Anthony spotting up for threes, and Clint Capela dunking alley-ops. That is a scary team in the playoffs.
The other reason the NBA needs Carmelo Anthony to get traded to the Rockets is because it needs Anthony on a contender. The NBA said its ratings declined last year by 6% from the year before. Imagine if you put a star that everyone knows like Carmelo on a team that has a chance to make a run in playoffs….people are going to want to watch that. I don’t think the casual fan understands how good Anthony can still be. Imagine him on the Rockets, being the third option, not having to carry a team every night, playing alongside a friend in Chris Paul. This is a situation Carmelo could thrive in. The NBA is looking for another superteam to join the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. If the Houston Rockets could acquire Carmelo Anthony, it is not just a win for the Houston Rockets, but it is also a win for the NBA and the fans who are watching.
As opposed to Ryan, I am heavily opposed to seeing the Houston Rockets make a trade for Carmelo Anthony for several reasons. The first reason is that, depending on what the Knicks want for Carmelo, the Rockets will actually get worse. The second reason is that I don’t think he would fit well with the Rockets for multiple reasons.
The New York Knicks are now under new management as Phil Jackson has, thankfully, left the organization. It has not been officially reported what new GM Scott Perry will be specifically looking for in a deal for Anthony, but regardless of what it is, I think the price is too high for Houston. The Rockets already gave up too much in the Chris Paul trade which sent defensive star Patrick Beverley, key reserves like Lou Williams and Sam Dekker, and a top-3 protected first round pick to the Clippers. The Rockets starting five looks pretty good as of right now with Chris Paul, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, and Clint Capela as the starting unit. However, because the Rockets gave up so much from acquiring Chris Paul, their only really notable bench player is Eric Gordon. Trading more bench players and draft picks for Carmelo will make the Rockets starting five look good on paper, but doing so would make their bench even more thin than it already is.
The other reason I think that the Rockets need to not trade for Carmelo Anthony is because of the way he would fit in with the rest of the team. Despite Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni winning Coach of the Year last season, the reason he was with the Rockets at all was because he resigned from the Knicks coaching position. That decision was made because of the presence of Carmelo Anthony in the organization. To see the two reunited would be awkward to say the least. Speaking of awkward fit, I have a lot of doubts about how the trio of Chris Paul, James Harden, and Carmelo Anthony would work. All three of those guys are ball-dominant players and need the ball in their hands in order to succeed. The good news is that Paul and Harden are well-established passers, but the three players combined to average 51 shot attempts per gamer. To put that in perspective, the big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh combined for 50 in the 2011-12 season. Obviously Paul, Harden, and Anthony have never played together and were all on different teams last season, but I think that those figures represent just how difficult it will be for all three to be able to carve out their own individual role on the team when there is only one ball for the three of them to share.
Overall, this trade does the Rockets no good. It cripples their already depleted bench and brings on a ball-needy player who has always tempted teams to have, but has proven to be more of a head case than a winner. This trade also doesn’t help the Rockets compete in a western conference that features 14 of the last year’s top-15 players in the league AND the defending juggernaut champions; the Golden State Warriors. Hopefully, Rockets GM Daryl Morey will see the light (or what I just finished explaining in the article) and not go through with this deal.