Nick Wright on Carmelo Anthony accepting a lesser role to play in Houston

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In his conversation with Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe on reports the Houston Rockets are interested in signing Carmelo Anthony, Nick Wright outlines how Melo would have to play a lesser role along side Chris Paul and James Harden.

- Guys go from way-- they're so underrated, they become overrated, and sometimes the opposite happens. Melo, his last couple of years in New York was an overrated basketball player. I remember that NBA rank thing came out. And Melo was-- I don't know-- I think he was like 27th. And people were, oh, are you kidding me? And that was about right.

And so at one point he was overrated and now I think we've swung too far in the other direction, because I'm going to bring up another guy that could go to any team this offseason and will go to some. And he'll be signed for around the money that Melo's going to end up signing for, off the bench score, and no one's going to say one bad word about him, Jamal Crawford.

- I knew you were going to say that. I knew it, yes.

- Jamal Crawford, by the way, last year shot the same percentage from the field as Melo, shot a worse percentage from three, ain't no defender. And Jamal Crawford, because he is properly rated and you know what you're getting with him, you can be like, oh, he could be a good bench option.

- But also, Jamal Crawford knows where he's ready.

- Yes, that's the difference.

- I think the problem is, is Carmelo doesn't see himself the way the rest of the league sees him.

- And he doesn't guard anybody. I mean, we talked about it yesterday. That's why he couldn't play in the playoffs. Forget the fact that he goes 0 for 9 in Game 7 versus Utah. He couldn't guard anybody. And so my thing with the Rockets, last year was a first time winner D'Antoni and really for the Rockets they go top 10 defensive efficiency. That was a big difference--


- --and a big boost for them. If Carmelo goes there and he's not willing to guard anybody, what are we talking about? He can't be on the floor.

- Well, listen, I guess maybe I think people evolve and even if they don't go through some cataclysmic change, I think sometimes drastic life events can help you take a step back. Melo being waived for the first time in his basketball life. Melo seeing a--

CRIS CARTER: But wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.


- They gave him $28 million to go home.

- Yeah.

- Well, they're about to, yes.

- He went wave, bro.

- Well, that is--

- They were paying him to leave.

- Right, but that's what I'm saying. That's what being waived is, right? Where there's like--

- No, no. Being waived is you ain't getting paid. Like that's a setback.

- That's the-- OK, sure.

CRIS CARTER: You know what I'm saying?

- Bought out.

- Well, I don't know if he's going to buy out or waived, but regardless, the point is, that's more to my point. We would rather-- and a lot of this has to do with luxury tax-- we have to pay you this money no matter what. We're better off without you than with you, is what Melo is going to be receiving. Also, he's going to be, for the first time in his basketball career, being teamed with a guy that he-- I don't want to say looks up to-- but that he looks even eye to eye with, and that he has such respect for in Chris Paul, if he does go to Houston. And he is for the first time, I believe, staring at his basketball mortality.

He knows that if wherever I go next it doesn't work, I'm done. And so if that doesn't make you go through some type of adjustment, then nothing will. Now, your asking about if he can adjust like, if a guy can go through that type of change.

CRIS CARTER: What was last summer, Nick?

- Last summer was-- see, last summer--

- Last summer he should've had this same attitude that you're talking about right now.

- No, no, no. Because last summer it wasn't an insult. Last summer was an exciting moment for him. Oh, I'm going to a contender. I am a part of a big three. Last summer, people were talking about the Thunder as if they could be fringe Western Conference contenders.

- He could trick himself to think the same thing now. He's really on a contender now. OKC was not a contender.

- I mean, they're a Chris Paul, potentially, hamstring away from winning a championship. And so Carmelo, if he were to come here, he has to not only accept, but embrace that role, because that's the only way this thing could work. And that, Lomax yesterday's point about Team USA Melo, that's the only Melo that works with Houston. Catch and shoot threes. Don't put the ball on the deck, and certainly cannot play bully ball.