The Utah Jazz are beefing up their roster in preparation for the 2019 NBA Playoffs, signing 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony to a deal.
With just six games left on their regular season docket, it’s looking as though the Utah Jazz are destined to face either the Portland Trail Blazers or the Houston Rockets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Undoubtedly, the Jazzland masses are praying it’s not the latter; James Harden is playing MVP-level ball and the Rockets may still be the best team in the West outside of Oakland.
If it came to that, though, the Jazz may just have an ace up their sleeve. Specifically, a future Hall of Famer with intimate knowledge of the Rockets attack.
As first reported by Adrien Worjanowski, the Jazz were granted a disabled player exception for point-man Dante Exum over the weekend and will use it to sign 10-time All-Star and former Rocket Carmelo Anthony to a multi-year deal.
Financials on the deal weren’t released, but it’s believed that Carmelo has a player option for the 2019-20 season.
Although Anthony’s No. 7 is currently hanging in the rafters in honor of the late, great “Pistol” Pete Maravich, he’s expected to receive special dispensation from the franchise to wear the number as long as he remains with the team.
Anthony’s last game action came all the way back in November. However, the latest reports have indicated that he’s been in full ‘Hoodie Melo’ mode in recent months. And Jazz GM Dennis Lindsay thinks the 34-year-old could add unique wrinkles to the Jazz offense.
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“Melo is the kind of player you can throw the ball to in the post, kick back and just watch him go to work. Five, 10, even 15 seconds of the shot clock…whatever it takes, he’ll get you a shot. Shot-takers are always at a premium in this league, and we’re thrilled to add one of the best.”
Meanwhile, Jazz coach Quinn Snider is more excited about the defensive possibilities.
“Rudy is doing his thing in the middle, but if we’re going to get where you want to be defensively, we need a brick wall planted out on the perimeter. Carmelo moves a lot like a brick wall.”
In his 10 games with Houston, Anthony posted a D-rating of 111, which is probably more indicative of Mike D’Antoni’s defensive shortcomings as Rockets coach than his own as a player.
For now, Utah’s plan seems to be to play Anthony at the four spot while Derrick Favors contends with back spasms (he’s expected to be available for Monday’s bout with the Charlotte Hornets). However, if his isolation game is on-point, Carmelo could actually usurp Favors in the Jazz starting five.
In related news, this is fake, Adrien Worjanowski, Dennis Lindsay and Quinn Snider aren’t real people and it’s still April Fools’ Day.