The New York Knicks already replaced Phil Jackson as the president of basketball operations, but the rumors swirling around Carmelo Anthony won’t stop. The 10-time NBA All-Star is seriously considering to leave the Knicks and see the Houston Rockets as a perfect trade destination. The latest rumors suggest that Anthony could be heading to Houston for a trade package centered on Eric Gordon.
Before the February trade deadline, former Knicks president Phil Jackson tried to move Carmelo Anthony. However, with a no-trade clause in his contract, the Knicks needed Anthony’s approval to make a deal with any team. The 2016-17 NBA season ended with Anthony still an official member of the Knicks.
To everyone’s surprise, Jackson was the first to leave the Knicks. The decision was made after the “Zen Master” made Kristaps Porzingis available on the trade market. The departure of Jackson didn’t have an effect on Anthony’s offseason plan at all. Several NBA teams have expressed interest in trading for Anthony but the All-Star forward has only one team on his mind. Fred Kerber of the New York Post revealed that Carmelo Anthony really wants to be traded to the Houston Rockets and team up with Chris Paul.
“Sources maintain there has been little if any, movement on the Anthony trade front. He wants Houston. He would waive his no-trade clause to go there – along with a 15 percent trade kicker that would cost him roughly $8 million to go to the Rockets,” Kerber wrote.
Anthony and Paul are close friends and members of the infamous Banana Boat Crew. The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t look attractive for Anthony anymore since LeBron James is rumored to leave in 2018 when he becomes a free agent. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers, who both expressed interest in acquiring him, don’t seem to be Anthony’s preferred trade destination.
As Kerber notes, the Rockets need to find a third team to facilitate a Carmelo Anthony deal. The Knicks aren’t interested in taking back Ryan Anderson and his expensive contract. Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report shared the same sentiment but believes that a deal can be executed if the Rockets offer a trade package centered on Eric Gordon.
Eric Gordon is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year. In 75 games last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.6 percent shooting from the field and 37.2 percent from beyond the arc. In order to strengthen their chance of acquiring Anthony, the Rockets may also need to send future draft picks and young players to the Knicks.
Despite Houston’s explosive backcourt duo of Chris Paul and James Harden, they still need to continue upgrading their roster if they want to dominate the Western Conference. Adding Anthony will increase the Rockets’ chance of competing against the Golden State Warriors. However, as of now, it remains a mystery what the Knicks really want to let Anthony go. NBA fans should patiently wait for any progress regarding the deal.
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