On Tuesday, June 10th, Derek Fisher was announced as the new head coach of the New York Knicks. What does this mean for the Houston Rockets? Well, Derek Fisher is one of the most respected, high character, individuals in the league but provides no prior coaching experience. Fisher is a leader of men but will have to lead those men without Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony wants to win and he wants to win now. After 10 years in the NBA, and not even a finals appearance, Carmelo is tired of losing. Hiring a coach with no experience and the task of implementing the complex triangle offense, it will take time and patience to make the Knicks a winner. Derek Fisher will most likely have a long leash in New York, as his mentor and boss is former coach, Phil Jackson. Knicks fans better be ready for a long rebuilding process as the Knicks have very limited options due to their financial salary cap problem.
Carmelo has very few options when it comes to free agency. The Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets are the three teams most likely to pursue his services.
The Lakers of today are an embarrassment, and the health of Kobe Bryant is still up in the air. If Carmelo decided to go to Los Angeles, it would be very reminiscent of the New York situation as he would be waiting for the summer of 2015 for the likes of Kevin Love to team up. But as I said before, Carmelo wants to win now, making Los Angeles a long shot.
The Chicago Bulls are in a better situation than LA, personnel wise, but they too have the health of their superstar in question. Former MVP Derrick Rose, has not played NBA basketball in almost two years now. The Bulls are an excellent defensive with struggles on the offensive end, so Carmelo could definitely help out that situation. However, Tom Thibodeau, is known for overplaying his players and wearing them down by the time it gets to the playoffs. A defensive genius, Thibodeau would likely clash with Anthony, causing friction. The uncertainty of Derrick Rose and the possibility of bumping heads with the head coach, makes the Bulls a better option than LA but still unlikely.
Harden showed signs of brilliance on the offensive end this season. His slashing ability would be a perfect mix with Carmelo’s shooting stroke. Carmelo plays best with other stars. Do you remember his shooting on display during the 2012 Olympics. Straight fire. He put on a show. Harden was also was named an All-star as a starter for the first time in his career as well, and he is more than willing to pass to a Carmelo on the wing.
To make the deal even sweeter, Dwight Howard will be there as well. In Howard’s first season with the Rockets he showed spurts as a dominant force that he was in Orlando. Howard and Harden are far better than any teammate Carmelo has ever had in Denver and New York. Dwight Howard closed the 2013-14 season with 19.1 points per game, 12.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on average. Howard will be even better next season as he knows what he is expected to do as a Houston Rocket next season. He was named as an All-Star as well, and for the most part looked to play well with Harden this season as the future is bright for the two of them.
Putting the three together is something Carmelo will take a nice long look at before making a decision next season.
Derek Fisher is an interesting choice for the Knicks and I don’t think it will be enough to help keep Carmelo in New York. I believe becoming a Houston Rocket is what Carmelo wants as they have the better chance of winning a championship than the Lakers, Bulls, and Fisher’s Knicks.