LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Carmelo Anthony reached a verbal agreement to join the Houston Rockets, sources told Yahoo Sports and USA Today on Tuesday.
Anthony, a 10-time All-Star who was waived July 30 by the Atlanta Hawks, had been expected to sign with the Rockets when he cleared waivers.
Entering his 16th NBA season, Anthony has a career scoring average of 24.1 points per game with the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Last season, unaccustomed to his role as power forward and playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George, he averaged a career-low 16.2 points in 32.1 minutes in his lone season for the Thunder.
This summer, he has worked out with Rockets stars James Harden and Chris Paul. The Hawks acquired Anthony on July 25 as part of a three-team transaction, with Atlanta also receiving a protected 2022 first-round draft pick from the Thunder and Justin Anderson from the Philadelphia 76ers.
To complete the trade, the Hawks traded Mike Muscala to Philadelphia and Dennis Schroder to Oklahoma City, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot moved from Philadelphia to Oklahoma City.
The Rockets created a roster opening last week by trading forward Chinanu Onuaku and cash to the Dallas Mavericks for centre Maarty Leunen and the right to swap second-round draft picks in 2020.
Onuaku played in six NBA games over the past two seasons and averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds. Leunen, 32, has yet to appear in the NBA.
Meanwhile, LeBron James is no stranger to NBA prime-time and holiday games, and Christmas will be no exception this year.
James and his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, will face the defending league champion Golden State Warriors on Dec. 25, according to multiple media reports.
The game, among several featuring marquee players and teams, will be played in Oakland, Calif. Reports of the holiday lineup came from the New York Times and ESPN.