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Report: Carmelo Anthony willing to waive $8 million trade kicker for Rockets


Carmelo Anthony does not want to return to the Knicks. The Knicks want to trade Carmelo Anthony. The Houston Rockets would like to trade for Carmelo Anthony.

So far all that will has not gotten a deal nearly as close to done as has been reported, I was told by sources. There are major hurdles, and the Knicks don’t like the offers they’ve gotten so far, which is why they pulled back (not because of the Scott Perry hiring or some desire to change Anthony’s mind). As has been reported before, Anthony is willing to waive his no trade clause for the right team to get the deal done, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said on The Jump.

“My sources tell me he’s willing to waive the trade kicker, which is worth around $8 million, so that makes a little easier for Houston to do a trade.”

That’s nice. It doesn’t solve the core problem with a Rockets’ trade.

The Rockets are over the cap so the only way this trade gets done is they send out enough salary to match and create space for Anthony. The Rockets could do that with a combination of Eric Gordon, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza, and some expiring deals, but that cuts way too deeply into the roster and hurts the Rockets more than it helps. What the Rockets need to do in this trade is move Ryan Anderson, and his three-years, $60 million — except the Knicks don’t want that contract on their books (even though Anderson is a good player when healthy). So now the two sides are trying to find a third team that would take on Anderson’s contract, but the Rockets are going to have to give up sweeteners — a couple first round picks or a pick and a quality young player — that they don’t have to get the deal done. So enter a fourth team to get the sweeteners, but that team will want things back, and quickly the house of cards falls apart.

On top of all that, the Knicks still don’t think they’re getting enough back in the trade to want to do it. Yet, anyway.

Over on the left coast, there is Portland saying “look at us, look at us!” They would be willing to trade for Anthony, as C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard have made clear.

One massive problem with that: Anthony has not been interested in waiving his no trade clause for anyone but Cleveland and Houston.

If he changes his mind — and that’s a huge, unlikely “if” — maybe a deal could be found. The Blazers already have a top-five payroll in the NBA (may be top two when all is said and done) and that means they have to send out salary as well, someone like Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard (moving Allen Crabbe is the dream, but also highly unlikely). The Knicks could have interest in Turner, the Blazers have picks to throw in, and if a third team picked up Leonard maybe we’re close to something. But until Anthony makes it clear he would accept a trade to Portland, something he has yet to do, this is all a moot exercize.

But hey, Anthony will waive his trade kicker. So there’s that.

J.J. Redick says Houston offered more total money than Philadelphia


Among contracts that turned heads of casual fans this summer was the Sixers giving J.J. Redick $23 million next season. That’s not a bad deal — it’s a lot of money, but it’s just for one season preserving cap space for next summer, and it fills a position of need with one of the best shooters in the game.

In his inaugural edition of his new podcast, Redick said that Houston came hard at him and offered more total money in a longer deal.

Here is the quote:

“It wasn’t about the money. Houston offered me more money than Philly. Total money. They offered me more money. I knew in Houston, I was going to come off of the bench. Me and Eric Gordon do a lot of the same things… It wasn’t necessarily going to be what I wanted at this point in my career for the court part of it.”

You could use this to say it’s not always about the money, but $23 million is a lot of money. Then next summer Redick gets another kick at the can, and he can choose to stay with an improving Sixers team (we hope) or to take his talents elsewhere. He left himself options, and maybe he makes more long term. Redick also was rumored to want to go back to the East Coast, so that may have played a factor.

Either way, Redick will be just fine. Just consider this another sign of how aggressive the Rockets have been this summer.


Report: Rockets add more defense, sign Luc Mbah a Moute to one-year deal


If the goal is to knock off the Warriors, you can never have enough wing defenders.

The Houston Rockets have set themselves up as the main challenger to the dominance of Golden State, and they just added some wing defense and some solid three-point shooting by signing Luc Mbah a Moute to a one-year deal, something first reported by Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Free-agent combo forward Luc Mbah a Moute has agreed to sign with the Houston Rockets, league sources tell ESPN.

It is believed to be a one-year, veteran minimum arrangement.

Mbah a Moute, 30, played the last two seasons with the LA Clippers as the team’s starting small forward. He declined a $2.3 million player option for the 2017-18 season to hit free-agency this summer. He shot a career high of 39 percent from the beyond the arc last season.

It is a veteran minimum contract, that’s all the Rockets have to give out.

The Rockets now will start Trevor Ariza on the wing next to James Harden and Chris Paul, but they can bring Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, and Mbah a Moute off the bench. That’s good depth at the position most needed to try and match up with the Warriors. Mbah a Moute has his limitations on offense — he shot well from three last season but can’t create or do much of anything but if he stays in his lane things work out well.

This is a good signing by the Rockets.

Report: Knicks to revive Carmelo Anthony trade talks with Rockets


The Knicks got their man, overpaying to pull Tim Hardaway Jr. away from the Hawks.

Now they want to get rid of the guy who used to be their man.

With Hardaway in house, the Knicks are expected to ramp up talks with Houston to trade Carmelo Anthony, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Knicks’ acquisition of Hardaway Jr., to the staggering deal is expected to trigger a renewed willingness to work with the Houston Rockets on trade scenarios to unload Carmelo Anthony, league sources told ESPN.

The Rockets have been persistent in their pursuit of Anthony, who is willing to waive his no-trade clause to join Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, league sources told ESPN, and the Knicks do not imagine a scenario where Hardaway Jr. is sharing the floor with Anthony to start the season.

Both Mike D’Antoni and Carmelo Anthony have said their past difference can be put aside.

To make this happen, the Rockets have a number of non-guaranteed contracts on the roster that can save the Knicks money, there likely would be a pick or picks, the question is whether Eric Gordon or Ryan Anderson (the later’s salary is almost $20 million a year for three years) would have to head East to get the salaries to match up? The Knicks may want Gordon, but unlikly they want to take on Anderson’s contract (at least without other sweeteners in the package).

If Anthony comes to the Rockets, how much better does he make them? He certainly brings scoring, he can get isolation buckets and can shoot the rock. But the reasons he didn’t fit in with what D’Antoni wanted to do in New York have not changed. If anything, Anthony’s deliberate, ball-stopping style will be more of an issue with a Rockets team that does play fast and move the ball.

Then there is Anthony’s defense. Can you imagine how the Warriors will exploit him, dragging ‘Melo into every pick-and-roll?

For a Rockets team looking to add talent and go at the Warriors, Anthony may be the best available player right now, and he would be an upgrade (how much depends on what they surrender). But he doesn’t get them past the Warriors, if anything he will be tough to play in that matchup.

Report: J.J. Redick interested in Rockets, but only if money is right


Remember the golden rule as we head into free agency: It’s all about the gold. The money. Players/agents/teams will talk winning and culture, maybe even lifestyle, but at the end of the day players go where they are going to get paid the most. Of course they’d love to play on a contender, but the cash comes first.

Case in point, free agent to be J.J. Redick. The soon to be former Clipper sharpshooter has a couple of suitors with money to spend coming for him — the Nets and Sixers are both expected to make offers north of $16 million a year for his services. Other teams are eyeing him. All things being equal, he’d like to go play with Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, reports Brad Turner of the L.A. Times. But all things being equal means money.

That’s not likely. The Rockets have less than $10 million cap space after the trade for Chris Paul, for them to get someone such as Redick they need to move someone like Eric Gordon in a deal where they don’t bring back salary. Good luck with that, Gordon has three years and $40 million left on his deal, so the Rockets would have to throw in a lot of sweeteners to get someone to take it.

Redick is all but gone from the Clippers. The only question is who pays the most to land him? Difficult to see that being Houston.