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