NBA Trade Talk: Is Chris Bosh a better fit than Carmelo Anthony in Houston?

Chris Bosh

Both Bosh and Anthony are free agents this summer, but which player fits better for the Rockets?

The Houston Rockets are going all out to sign free agent small forward Carmelo Anthony this summer. The Rockets brought the former NBA scoring champion in for a six-hour visit when free agency began in the hope of convincing him to join the team.

However, whispers in NBA circles suggest that Anthony may be leaning towards re-signing with the Knicks, and even the front-runners in the race to lure him away from New York - the Chicago Bulls - are doubtful that they can get the job done.

The Rockets may need a plan B then, and it appears to be Miami Heat big man Chris Bosh. He is also out of contract this summer after opting out of his current deal.

Bosh is not as talented a player as Anthony, but he may be a better fit for Houston's current roster.

The Rockets are built around two NBA superstars in James Harden and Dwight Howard. Harden is arguably the best two-guard in the league, an incredible offensive talent who is equally adept at handling the ball and shooting. Howard, meanwhile, is an elite rim protector and can be devastating as a pick-and-roll big on offense.

Both have their weaknesses, however. Harden's struggles on the defensive end are well documented. He has trouble guarding his position and often takes entire possessions off. Howard does not have the post game or ability to knock down open jump shots, which means the Rockets often struggle to spread the floor for Harden's drives to the rim.

Adding Anthony would certainly make them a better team, but not on the defensive end. He would almost certainly have to play at the four for most of the time, assuming the team re-signs Chandler Parsons, but he does not have the physicality required to guard some of the league's biggest power forwards.

If Anthony was to play at small forward, the Rockets' wing tandem of him and Harden would be hugely susceptible on the defensive end. After watching the Spurs pick apart the Heat in the NBA Finals with such efficiency it is terrifying to imagine what they would do to Houston.

Bosh, on the other hand, would make the Rockets far, far better defensively. His reputation as a franchise player has taken a hit since he joined Miami, but he remains one of the league's top pick and role defenders. Houston could be one of the best defensive teams in the West with a frontcourt of Bosh, Howard and Parsons.

He would also be a big upgrade on offense, and would probably fit Houston's offense better than Anthony. The Rockets could execute the pick-and-roll with Howard or the pick-and-pop with Bosh, adding some intriguing variety to their offensive system. Also, Bosh will knock down open jumpers from Harden drives or Howard post-ups.

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Houston will have the cap space available to hand Bosh a big contract, and he may have a better shot at winning the title there than in Miami with LeBron James, an ageing Dwyane Wade and a below-average supporting cast.

Bosh has suggested that he will take a pay cut to allow the Heat to bring in better players. If LeBron decides he is leaving South Beach, however, Bosh will have a big decision to make on his future.

Should the Rockets go after Chris Bosh?