10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony has confirmed a verbal committment to sign with the Houston Rockets after returning home from a trip to Africa on Tuesday. His arrival in Houston was widely expected after he cleared free agency waivers last week following a July 30 trade to Atlanta.
The Rockets became favorites to land the 34-year-old small forward earlier this summer after losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, according to Yahoo Sports.
Several league sources had been predicting that Anthony would sign a 1-year, $2.4 million veteran’s minimum contract with Houston, but the decision was delayed because of his travel commitments.
Shams Charania reported in a tweet, “Anthony cleared free agency waivers last week and has informed Houston of decision to sign upon return from Africa, league sources said. Anthony also unveiled refurbished basketball court in South Africa last week.”
Carmelo Anthony will be joining James Harden and Chris Paul on a Rockets team that finished atop the Western Conference regular season standings with a 65-17 record last season.
Anthony averaged 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.6 blocks in 32.1 minutes per game for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season.
Paul had reportedly been pushing for the Rockets to pursue Anthony and Harden told reporters “it would be great” if he joined the team
“It would be a great acquisition for us,” Harden said during a recent press conference. “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.”