This came as no great surprise. Rumours that Anthony’s spell in Houston was coming to an end have been around for a while, and he’s not played since 8th November when he scored two points against the Thunder.
Houston took a chance after Anthony left Oklahoma City. He struggled to fit alongside Paul George and Russell Westbrook and remained against the idea of coming off the bench. His time with the Knicks didn’t exactly end happily either.
The Rockets lose very little out of this. Anthony is only on a veteran’s minimum contract and, as reported by Wojnarowski, Houston are not going to waive him just yet. This is his opportunity to find a new team, which should not be too difficult for a future first ballot Hall of Famer, however turbulent his last 18 months have been.
The scapegoating Anthony has suffered from both alongside George and Westbrook and in his brief Houston spell makes it trickier. He was never an elite defender, but he has taken the brunt of responsibility for poor defensive performances. The reluctance to be a role player might put off potential employers.
A jump back to the Eastern Conference might be a good fit. Philadelphia have an open roster spot, and Anthony could provide shooting they desperately need. Whether they would be prepared to weaken their defence is another question.
Other teams in the East might consider a move, even as a dice roll to push them into a playoff spot or get closer to the top four. The fact there is no halfway obvious landing spot is a concern for Melo. There’s no doubt he still has something to offer, but the question remains, as it did in the offseason, whether he accepts his role as a bench scorer. If he does not, finding a new team could be almost impossible.
He has become, rightly or wrongly, associated with two underachieving teams in two seasons. Paired with his decline, the league’s front offices will be wary. It’s hard not to feel a tinge of sadness at the predicament one of the game’s highest ever scorers is in after another rejection.