After everything that was said by the Knicks former team president, Phil Jackson, many people would’ve expected Melo to end his Knicks tenure. After several months of trade rumors and reports, Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets should be finalized by Monday.
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Anthony’s camp is “cautiously optimistic” that Melo will be traded to the Rockets by Monday.
However, there’s one piece of the puzzle that’s missing with questions, Ryan Anderson. Anderson is the main reason why this trade isn’t completed. Since July, Houston has been looking for teams to take on Anderson’s three-year, $60 million contract.
Anderson isn’t a bad player at all, but $60 million for three years is outrageous. Yes, Anderson can shoot threes and help stretch the floor. In addition, Anderson can be a starting four on the majority of the teams in the NBA. However, the Rockets need to clear cap space for Melo, and without Anderson contract getting wiped away, it’s going to be hard.
Isola added that this trade is far from happening if the Rockets cannot find another team for Anderson.
“The problem, however, is that Carmelo has limited his trade list to one team, the Rockets. So, unless Houston can find someone to take Ryan Anderson’s contract (he’s owed over $60M over the next three seasons), Carmelo is stuck in limbo.”
Which team in the West will actually help the Rockets receive Anthony? Houston may need to find a team in the East to help take on Anderson contract or a non-factor team in the West to take Anderson contract.
Why is finding a team to take Anderson so difficult? Obviously, no playoff caliber team is going to help the Rockets endanger their playoff success. The teams you can cross off the list as a new home for Ryan Anderson include the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Toronto Raptors.
Houston will become more lethal on the offensive end of the court. Adding a player who can average 20 plus points per game will help solidify the Rockets as the best team to take down the Warriors.
Melo will be used in a small-ball lineup, and he will have a starring role for the Rockets. Melo will possibly start at the power forward position, and if he can accept being in the frontcourt, he will optimize everybody’s potential on the floor. But first, the trade for Anthony must become a reality.
There’s still hope among the players on the New York Knicks that Melo may stay in Madison Square Garden. Anthony’s new teammate, Michael Beasley, had nice things to say about the Knicks if Melo is willing to stay.
Michael Beasley told Ian Beagley of ESPN that if Melo is on the roster, the Knicks will be in a position to become a playoff team.
“If Tim Hardaway Jr., Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and myself (are on the roster) – those are four guys that can score 25 points per game….I think we’ve got a position to be not only a playoff team but a five, six seed team if we do it right.”
Sorry, Beasley but Melo may be elsewhere.
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