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Rockets lose Cameroon’s Mbah a Moute, seek Carmelo

11 July 2018

The Rockets are gearing up for a pursuit of Carmelo Anthony by letting one of their best defensive players go.

Oklahoma City's Carmelo Anthony (7) holds the ball as Houston's PJ Tucker (4) defends during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. If Carmelo is really determined to play with CP3, who is his close friend, he could sign a team-friendly deal with Houston.

The Rockets are hunting for a replacement for Trevor Ariza, who signed a one-year $15m deal with the Phoenix Suns during free agency, and hope Anthony could be the man to step in.

Though the Heat would be very open to a trade for Anthony, the Thunder is reportedly looking to shed salary, not add the type of longterm deals that the Heat has been shopping.

The Thunder and Anthony's agent Leon Rose have been working on different trade scenarios where Anthony's $27.9 million salary would be moved as an expiring contract and waived, according to ESPN's report.

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Anthony opted into the final year of his near $28m deal last month, contributing to a dangerously-inflated payroll that now sits at around $310m in OKC.

After failing to secure a trade for Anthony last summer, the Rockets will have the opportunity to sign Melo again.

The 34-year-old posted career lows in points (16.2 per game), shot attempts (15.0) assists (1.3) and minutes (32.1) in 78 games (all starts) last season while playing primarily power forward instead of small forward.

Anthony expressed to the Thunder at the end of the team's playoff run he would not accept a bench role.

Rockets lose Cameroon’s Mbah a Moute, seek Carmelo