The Rockets lost Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to the Clippers on Monday, which only bolstered reporting from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and others that Houston intends on replacing Mbah a Moute and the departed Trevor Ariza with one Carmelo Anthony, which raises a very important question: WHY?
WHY IN HARDEN’S BEARD would the Rockets chase Carmelo Anthony after losing two key, switch-ready defensive pieces with decent catch-and-shoot ability? Sure, Ariza became too expensive. But the Rockets might spend the money that Mbah a Moute got in L.A. on Melo.
Everyone recalls that Melo played a huge role in ending Mike D’Antoni’s frustrating tenure with the Knicks? And we all acknowledge that the Rockets are already hugely dependent on isolation-heavy offense, something that Melo will only reinforce? And we all understand that Melo would be the second worst defender in the rotation behind only Ryan Anderson? (Yes, that includes counting James Harden.)
Has everyone in Houston forgotten how Anthony refused to come off the bench for the Thunder, and bristled under a decreased role in the playoffs? How Melo performed in Oklahoma City should have been poison for his placement in that type of role. Yet the Rockets are seeking to put him back in a very similar situation ... under a coach with whom he’s clashed ... playing with two far superior scorers and playmakers ... in a high-pressure setting in chase of the Warriors.
This is a really, really bad idea. It was a pretty bad idea when rumored last summer, and everything we’ve learned about the Rockets and Melo in the past year has only fortified those beliefs. I hope Melo and the Rockets prove me wrong should it happen because it’d be nice to still have a real challenger to the Warriors and Anthony is a good person who has gotten an unfair bad rap for most of his pre-Thunder days. But this has disaster written all over it.
Meanwhile, the Clippers ...
Is it just me, or are the Clippers kind of exciting now? Mbah a Moute is a roleplayer, of course, and L.A. is chock full of roleplayers. There’s a weird balance going on with veteran players like Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, and Tobias Harris and then the Clippers’ young players like draft picks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson.
What a weird, interesting team!
Remember too that while the Clippers have lost DeAndre Jordan, they had crazy injury problems in 2017-18. If the point guards are healthy and they get good minutes out of Mbah a Moute and Marcin Gortat, L.A. could make another run at the playoffs.
Chamique Holdsclaw married Cara Wright, an executive with the Clippers’ G League team, over the weekend. Swish Appeal has the exclusive. Cheers!
Michele Roberts, head of the players’ union, strikes back against criticisms that the union’s refusal to accept the league’s pitch to smooth the salary cap increase over years led to the Warriors.
I wrote about Zach LaVine using a belligerent team, the Kings, to get what he wanted: a fat contract with the Bulls. Crazy teams with cap space are a real balancing factor in the power imbalance of restricted free agency.
LeBron officially signed his contract. Start selling the jerseys again.
The Cavaliers are reportedly looking for a new home for Kyle Korver.
Be excellent to each other.