In a day where Phil Jackson has been fired, more NY Knicks rumors have popped up regarding NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony. The latest speculation is that ‘Melo is considering leaving his current NBA squad to join up with the Houston Rockets. The team, which already features this past season’s NBA MVP candidate James Harden as part of its lineup, added Clippers star Chris Paul via a trade on Wednesday. Now it appears they could add the longtime Knicks All-Star to the mix as well if things work out in Carmelo’s favor in the Big Apple.
On Wednesday, Total Pro Sports reported that ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith made comments that Carmelo Anthony would leave for the Houston Rockets if his current team gives him a buyout. Anthony is currently under contract, which includes a “no-trade” clause he has to waive for the team to make any deals involving him. For months, speculation was fueled that Knicks’ president Phil Jackson was looking to force Anthony away from the team, but the star player didn’t budge and remained loyal to his squad. However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Carmelo as he pursues that elusive NBA Championship.
With news earlier on Wednesday that the Knicks’ head honcho was fired, it seems it could have cleared the room for Carmelo Anthony and his agent to work out some sort of deal. If that deal goes down, it would put Anthony on the same roster with fellow All-Star players James Harden and their recently-acquired star guard, Chris Paul, to form yet another one of the cliche “Super Teams.” The other teams that have been referred to by this nickname recently include the Cleveland Cavaliers with their trio of All-Star players and the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors with their quartet of stars.
Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets is a possibility if he's bought out by the New York Knicks. (Via Stephen A. Smith - ESPN)— Clevis Murray (@ClevisMurray) June 28, 2017
The Chris Paul trade, which was reported earlier on Wednesday, may have surprised fans with Houston dealing three of their roster members and a pick away to the Los Angeles Clippers. One of those players was a Sixth Man of the Year Award finalist who served Houston well off the bench. However, adding a player with the magnitude of Chris Paul to a roster that already includes NBA MVP finalist James Harden was huge, and if the Carmelo Anthony rumors prove to be true, it certainly puts Houston amongst the top teams in the West.
Anthony averaged 22.4 points this past season for the Knicks, which had him tied for No. 22 on the scoring list with the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry. Anthony also grabbed about six boards a game and dished out nearly three assists. Unfortunately, Melo’s team finished outside of the playoffs with a disappointing record of 31-51 in the Eastern Conference, which was not the worst, but by Knicks fans’ standards, it probably wasn’t acceptable.
During his time with the New York Knicks, Carmelo reached the playoffs in just his first three seasons with the team. However, they bowed out in the first round in back-to-back years and then lost in the conference semifinals to Paul George and the Pacers during the 2012-13 NBA season. Since then, the team has been unable to qualify for the last four postseasons.
The poor record this past season brought New York a relatively high draft pick at No. 8, but there are those fans and analysts unhappy with the choice the team made to select point guard Frank Ntilikina from France over several other prospects. Additionally, Phil Jackson and the Knicks’ management reportedly tried to trade away current star player Kristaps Porzingis, drawing the ire of fans, as the attempted deal was with conference rival Boston.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were the talk of the league last week as they acquired Jimmy Butler via trade, but now it’s looking like the Houston Rockets are quickly in the conversation. They were the No. 3 seed in the West during the past playoffs, and they now seem like an even stronger contender if they can add Melo. However, can they overtake the Golden State Warriors with a roster that features Harden, CP3, and Carmelo Anthony?
[Featured Image by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]