Report: Rockets favored to land Carmelo
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Houston Rockets are homing in on their target.

The Western Conference finalists have emerged as the front-runner to acquire the services of veteran forward Carmelo Anthony once he becomes a free agent, reports The New York Times' Marc Stein.

After one year with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony will reportedly have his contract waived using the stretch provision or will be traded to another team, which would then buy out his $27.9-million contract for next season. Removing Anthony from next year's cap sheet could represent $107 million in salary and luxury-tax savings for the Thunder in 2018-19.

The imminent split appears to have been fairly amicable. The Thunder have reportedly granted Anthony permission to speak to other teams. In turn, the 10-time All-Star has waived his no-trade clause to help facilitate his exit from Oklahoma City.

Houston has been linked to Anthony even prior to his trade to the Thunder, and Rockets star guard Chris Paul is said to have recently asked his team to bring the forward into the fold.

Rockets bench boss Mike D'Antoni, who coached Anthony in New York for parts of two seasons from 2010-12, reportedly met with the 34-year-old in Las Vegas this week to help establish that any previous animosity between the two is water under the bridge.

D'Antoni and the Rockets have some holes in their forward rotation after watching Trevor Ariza and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute defect to the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively. While largely slotted in as a power forward last season, Anthony averaged 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 32.1 minutes per game; Thunder lineups featuring him outscored opponents by four points per 100 possessions during the 2017-18 regular season.

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Report: Rockets favored to land Carmelo
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