What is going on in Minnesota? After trading away Zach Lavine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn for an All-Star in Jimmy Butler, we heard noises throughout last season regarding Jimmy and the younger Wolves butting heads.
It’s been a tough off-season for the Houston Rockets, who finished last season in frustrating fashion, left wondering what could have been if CP3 stayed healthy.
They were cornered into giving Paul a massive four-year deal, but that was a no brainer, even though they know it could haunt them in the final years.
The season the team had, and the way it ended, gave them no real choice besides giving it another run. We all know they weren’t going to be able to make this team better in the short term by letting Paul walk.
The real problems came after this move, as Trevor Ariza was wowed by a one-year, $15 million contract with the Phoenix Suns. Once they lost him, it became increasingly important to retain Luc Mbah Moute, who has since signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Neither one of those guys are the big names, or put up the flashy numbers, but their presence was obvious when evaluating how well Houston was defensively. Both are good defenders, and their versatility on that end allowed them to switch against opposing offenses. Not only switch, but really not lose a step by doing so.
Now, with very legitimate concerns about how the roles of those guys will be filled, reports are circulating that the team is focusing in on bringing Carmelo Anthony to town.
Yes, the interest in him is nothing new for Houston, and in many ways it doesn’t seem like a terrible idea. That is, until you remember the void that needs to be filled on the wing. Instead of finding the best possible candidate to fill that void, they have focused in on attaining the polar opposite.
A fair point is to be made by saying he will relieve some of the offensive pressure James Harden and Paul are forced to carry on this team. That’s reasonable, and quite frankly, correct. He will make the jobs of the superstar guards easier over the course of the regular season.
After last year’s performance, the regular season isn’t very important to this team, as long as they make sure to be around in the playoffs. Once there, they would hope to this time overcome Golden State, but that goes from very difficult to impossible if Carmelo Anthony is getting even decent minutes in the series.
His defence has never been anything to write home about, but last year he took it to a whole new level, becoming borderline unplayable in the biggest games of the season. So Houston, who had built a roster designed to have a chance in a series with the dominant Warriors, is now going to try out shooting them?
That is impossible, and can only end in ugly fashion for anyone not in a Warriors jersey.
Oh yeah, one more thing, Houston still has Ryan Anderson on board at a whopping 22 million. If him or Melo are asked to be on the floor against the Warriors come playoff time, one of the five all stars on GS will be able to feast, leaving the Rockets with no chance.
Houston, we have a problem.