The NBA beauty pageant known as free agency got underway in the wee hours Tuesday morning, with teams considering just how they’ll preen and pirouette in the name of landing premier players. One of the biggest names out there is Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Chronicle pulled back the curtain on just how one ardent wooer will go about business.
Basically, the Houston Rockets will use the same pitch with Anthony, who will visit the team on Wednesday, that they used with Dwight Howard a year ago. From the Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen:
The thrust of the presentation will be about the Rockets’ contention that Anthony, a 6-8 forward, would be joining a contender. According to an individual familiar with the plans, they would cite their roster, expected to include every starter off a 54-win team.
They will describe how Anthony, 30, would be used. They will use many of the same representatives — owner Leslie Alexander, CEO Tad Brown, general manager Daryl Morey, coach Kevin McHale, former player Clyde Drexler, trainer Keith Jones and James Harden — as those who landed Howard. Howard will also be a part of the presentation, replacing free agent Chandler Parsons on the welcoming committee.
But the Rockets will hope to use home-court advantage as they could not last season. Howard’s meetings were set up in Los Angeles, with the Rockets contingent making their appeal at a hotel dinner. On Wednesday, Anthony is scheduled to be at Toyota Center where the Rockets plan to pull out all the recruiting stops the $7 million upgrade to the basketball facilities allow. [...]
Anthony planned to begin his tour in Chicago. When he gets to Houston (with a trip to Dallas scheduled for later Wednesday), the Rockets hope to make his visit memorable. As much as the Rockets will emphasize the more sober facts and figures related to team building, they plan to use their extensive collection of gadgetry, from the video boards and sound system in the locker room to the new weight room, video room and player’s lounge in ways they could not last summer when recruiting Howard.
Anthony’s first stop is Chicago, where he’ll talk today with the Bulls. They’ll remind him that championships are more important than money and, even if Derrick Rose won’t participate in the spiel, they’ll tell him they have a roster built to be a contender. Joakim Noah has been making a pitch to Anthony since the All-Star break.
“What we’re selling is our team,” Coach Tom Thibodeau said in general comments about free agency (via the Chicago Tribune). “I’m sure free agents are well aware of our team and the guys that we do have. Our players will be available to talk. We think we have a lot to offer. We have great depth. We have great tradition. And we’re positioned well to go forward.”
After talking with the Rockets, he’ll meet with the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, then head for L.A. and a meeting with the Lakers on Wednesday. As for another big free agent in whom the Rockets are interested, nothing is scheduled yet with LeBron James.