In less than 48 hours, the Rockets' front office will be sitting in a room with Carmelo Anthony, trying to convince him that Houston is the place where he should continue his NBA career. In a meeting that will last all of a few hours, they will try to do what they did last summer with Dwight Howard and land one of the league's top players for the second summer in a row.
Jonathan Feigen has the details on exactly what that presentation will look like:
The thrust of the presentation will be about the Rockets' contention that Anthony, a 6-8 forward, would be joining a contender.
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.
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.
When they get down to discussing how the Rockets believe they will be able to build a winner, they will also reveal their plans for Parsons, a 6-9 forward.
The Rockets passed on picking up their option on Parsons' contract Monday, but made him a qualifying offer. That will make Parsons, 25, a restricted free agent, with the Rockets able to match any offer sheet he signs.
Morey on several occasions has said simply Parsons will be back, anyway, but a person with knowledge of the Rockets' pitch said that when the Rockets describe the team they will include Parsons among the teammates Anthony could join.
On paper, the offer is quite strong. No state income taxes makes their offer stronger than anyone other than the Knicks from a financial perspective, and he would have a chance to join arguably the league's best big man and center combination. Adding Anthony, a tremendous scorer and rebounder, to a team that won 54 games last year would be a tremendous upgrade that could propel the Rockets to championship contention.
Meanwhile, the Bulls have Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson to pitch to Carmelo, a nearly equally intriguing proposition. However, while James Harden and Dwight Howard will be involved in the pitch to Anthony, Derrick Rose has said that he will not be actively recruiting for the Bulls, instead letting the players that want to come to Chicago come to Chicago. It's not clear whether any of this will matter to Anthony, but in an important free agency race like this one, every little thing helps. Let's hope the Rockets end up on the winning end.