This summer, the Houston Rockets lost starting small forward Trevor Ariza and key defensive forward Luc Mbah a Moute from last year's dominant squad.
With a void on the wing, they then added Carmelo Anthony after he was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks and then had his contract bought out.
Before Melo’s signing was announced, James Harden explained how he’d be a solid addition.
"It would be a great acquisition for us," said Harden in late July, per Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle. "Melo's a proven vet. He just wants to win at this point, so it would be great for him to be on our team. The current roster we have now, we've got good guys back and we keep making forward progress.”
"That's a part of the business but like we do every single year, we've got to find a way," Harden added. "Whatever guys we sign, be ready to come in and play good minutes and we'll take it from there. I have all the confidence in the front office and the coaching staff and the players that we'll have on the roster."
Gerald Green weighed in after Melo committed to Houston.
“I'm loving it. I really am... proven player... future Hall of Famer... I don't really think he's ever had a point guard like Chris Paul before. I don't think he's played with a scorer, not like James Harden before. It's gonna work... I want him to be Melo,” Green said, per Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston.
Anthony played alongside Russell Westbrook last season on the Thunder, but apparently Green thinks Paul is on a different level.
CP3 was quiet after his friend decided to join his team, but on Friday, he expressed his feelings when asked about what he's most excited about.
The CP3-Melo connection
“A lot of things, Melo like a lot of the guys on the team always play like we have something to prove. And obviously the friendship, brotherhood that we share. It’s always nice to play with someone you’re close with,” he told Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic.
Paul’s close friendship with Melo has been well-documented over the years. In fact, CP3 gave a toast at Anthony’s wedding.
“When you talk to guys as much as we do, you start to trust them,’’ Paul said of his relationship with Melo and LeBron James during the toast. “Any time you can trust somebody in the same profession you are in, it’s a brotherhood.’’
Paul’s father Charles also weighed in on the strong bond the three players had at the time.
“They love the game of basketball, and that’s what connects them,’’ Charles said. “Friendships come and go, especially with men. When we get some good ones, we cherish them. That’s what they have done.’’
It remains to be seen whether or not the close friendship between Paul and Anthony will translate to success on the court.