Mary Altaffer/Associated Press
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the news. Wojnarowski added more details on Anthony’s status:
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
For now, Anthony will remain on the Rockets roster, but will not rejoin the team, sources said. Anthony’s wisest course of action could be exercising patience and allowing changes in league rosters – through trades, injuries, team needs — to create more playing options for him. https://t.co/L5aC5Ueah0
Anthony, 34, averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest with the Rockets. His final game was a 1-of-11, two-point outing in his return to Oklahoma City. Houston sat Anthony for the last three games because of an illness, while rumors swirled about his future with the club.
The Rockets went 4-6 with Melo in the lineup and are 6-7 overall, making them by far the NBA‘s most disappointing team of the first month.
“We’re nowhere near where we expect to be,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told reporters. “We have high expectations, and we’re going to stick with those, and that’s where we’re at.”
Morey went on to say Anthony was unfairly scapegoated during his time in Houston, which is a fair point. Numbers from nearly every contributor from last season’s 65-win team are down. The Rockets had to convince assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik to come out of retirement to help fix their defense.
Anthony is far from being at his peak, but he’s also far from the only problem.
Whichever team signs Anthony next will need to have a realistic expectation regarding his playing time—as will Melo. He’s clearly not washed up to the point he needs to be out of the league. There’s an NBA role for Anthony in 2018; he and his team just have to find it and embrace it.