Carmelo Anthony sees a potential super team forming in Houston, one that would have the best shot to knock off the Warriors next season, and he wants to be part of it. He’s willing to waive his no trade clause to go there.
That problem is he has a massive contract paying him $55 million over the next two years, and his trade value is at an all-time low. The Knicks have no motivation to take a crappy deal — Phil Jackson may have been willing to do that just to get ‘Melo out of town, the new Steve Mills/Scott Perry regime is not.
Still, Anthony still expects the trade with the Rockets to go down, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
As New York Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry pursue a meeting with Carmelo Anthony in the coming days, league sources told ESPN that the 10-time All-Star is counting on the franchise to carry out its previously agreed upon mandate to trade him to the Houston Rockets…
Anthony, 33, has been willing to waive his no-trade clause for Houston and Cleveland, but in recent weeks, he has begun to prioritize a trade to the Rockets to join Chris Paul and James Harden over the Cavaliers and LeBron James, league sources said.
With Perry’s hiring from Sacramento and the promotion of Steve Mills to president, the Knicks have paused those trade discussions, in part because New York has been unhappy with the recent proposed returns on an Anthony deal, league sources said.
Anthony wants to be traded to the Rockets. That’s nice, I want to walk out the door of my house and hop in my Maserati Gran Turismo convertible and drive around town. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
The Rockets may be motivated to bring in Anthony, but they are not loaded with young players that could fit with Kristaps Porzingis, nor do they have a lot of high draft picks to move, so what can they really offer? Plus, to make this work financially, the Rockets need to move Ryan Anderson and his three-year, $60 million contract. The Knicks don’t want that back, so the two sides tried to find a third and fourth team to come into the trade to take on that deal, but there were no takers (because any team willing to take on Anderson’s contract is going to want a lot of sweetners such as young players and picks to do it).
A number of teams have been rumored to be part of the deal, including New Orleans and Portland, but they are not going to make a Western Conference foe in Houston better out of the goodness of their hearts, and no deal has been found. Wojnarowski reports that the Trail Blazers will only be part of the deal if ‘Melo expands the number of places he’s willing to be traded to and comes to them. The Knicks would like to see that list of potential landing spots where Anthony would waive his no trade clause expand and give them options, but that doesn’t seem likely right now.
My sense: Anthony will start the season a Knick. Which may be a media circus, but if he is demanding to go to only one of a couple of teams, and there is no good deal to be had because ‘Melo’s trade value is so low, the new Knicks management will wait out the market.