But even if New York’s new regime relents on dealing Anthony to the Rockets, there are still complications.
Houston would probably have to send out Ryan Anderson, whom nobody wants at his salary. Sure, some teams might take Anderson – with a sweetener or to unload their own bad contracts. Like the Trail Blazers, who have Meyers Leonard.
With Anthony yet to indicate he would waive his no-trade clause to play in Portland, the Blazers’ early involvement has largely been as a third-team facilitator for New York and Houston, with the teams’ inability to find a fourth team to absorb the contract of Meyers Leonard stalling at least one version of the deal, three sources with knowledge of the talks told The Vertical.
Leonard is owed $31,786,516 over the next three years. His big-man skills have disintegrated despite being 7-foot-1, and his outside shooting isn’t threatening enough to compensate. He’s just 25, so there’s time for him to rebound (literally and figuratively). But at that price, it’s a bad bet.
The Trail Blazers have plenty of lousy contracts and face the luxury tax, so presumably, they’d unload a couple for the overpaid Anderson – who can still help on the court with his floor spacing – in this trade.
The Knicks and Rockets can keep roping in more teams. But at the end of the day, someone has to end up with the worst contract in the trade, whether that’s Anderson or Leonard. Good luck finding a taker.