NBA rumors: Sixers kicking tires on Carmelo Anthony?

Houston Rockets NBA Philadelphia 76ers Carmelo Anthony

Through 10 games this season, it became very clear that the Carmelo Anthony-Houston Rockets experiment was a failed exploration.

The 34-year-old Anthony looks like a shell of himself in Houston, which does not come as a surprise, especially with how he played last season in Oklahoma City.

This season, Anthony is only averaging 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in a career-low 29.2 minutes per game. He is also shooting an abysmal 40.8 percent from the field, 32.8 percent from three-point range and 68 percent from the charity stripe.

Over the weekend, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that Anthony was informed that his short stint with the Rockets will be ending soon. 

When Anthony ultimately becomes a free agent, there is a high possibility that he might not have a lot of suitors. However, his representatives reportedly spent Monday gathering information on potential landing spots per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It will be interesting to see what teams make Anthony’s final list, but he might already have one team who may consider signing him.

Chris Sheridan of Get More Sports reported on Monday that the Sixers are interested in signing the veteran to play power forward. This rumor does not come as a surprise as Philly has a gaping hole at power forward due to the acquisition of Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In that blockbuster deal, the Sixers traded both forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric, along with guard Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick to Minnesota.

With Saric not on the team anymore, Philly will have to lean on a combination of Mike Muscala, Wilson Chandler and Jonah Bolden going forward. If they opt to sign Anthony, he would provide some offensive production to offset what they lost with Saric.

However, that might be a stretch, especially when you compare Anthony’s advanced stats from this season to last season.

In 10 games with the Rockets, Anthony has an offensive rating (ORtg) of 103, which is well below his career average of 108. Last season with the Thunder, his ORtg was 104.

Then he has a defensive rating (DRtg) of 113, which is above his career average (108) and what he did in Oklahoma City (109).

Anthony’s lack of defense has been well-documented over his long career. But unlike when he was a top-notch scorer in his early years and could get away with playing little to no defense, the former first-round pick does not have that same explosive scoring flair.

Therefore, if Anthony was to join the Sixers, they would have to surround him with multiple defensive-minded players to overcome his apparent deficiencies. 

Could he play with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and J.J. Redick? Without a question, but would Anthony be willing to take a back seat to the new Big 3 in Philly and be okay with a minutes reduction?

This is only a question that Anthony and his reps can answer as they try to put together a list. Consequently, the Sixers will wait for the right deal to come around, whether it is for Anthony or another player.

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