Despite being unhappy with his role as a third scoring option, Carmelo Anthony still decided to opt into the final year of his contract to stay with Russell Westbrook and Paul George in the Oklahoma City Thunder. It is indeed a wise move for the 34-year-old small forward since no NBA team is expected to pay him $27.9 million as an unrestricted free agent.
However, Anthony’s stint in Oklahoma City may not last long, and rumors are currently circulating that the Thunder may consider buying out his contract or trading him to another team. Finding a trade partner who can give them useful assets in return will undeniably be the best move for the Thunder. According to Lawrence George of Fansided‘s Thunderous Intentions, the Thunder could try offering Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets.
“The Houston Rockets were in talks to acquire Anthony from the New York Knicks last offseason. However, the Rockets were stripped of their assets when they chose to acquire All-Star Chris Paul in a sign and trade deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. A deal centered around Ryan Anderson was offered to the Knicks in which they declined, opting to move Melo to OKC instead.”
The Rockets were the top suitor of Carmelo Anthony on the trade market last summer. They were also one of the NBA teams Anthony was willing to waive his no-trade clause. Being traded to Houston would allow the All-Star forward to team up with his close pal, Chris Paul. Unfortunately, Anthony’s former team, the New York Knicks, doesn’t seem to be interested with the Rockets’ offer, making them decide to send him to the Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick.
After losing small forward Trevor Ariza in the free agency market, the Rockets may once again express interest in adding Carmelo Anthony to their team, especially if the Thunder officially make him available on the trading block. In the potential deal between the Thunder and the Rockets, Anthony will be sent to Houston for a trade package centered on Ryan Anderson. The Rockets will be needing to include Eric Gordon to convince the Thunder to absorb Anderson’s contract.
The deal will be beneficial for the Thunder and the Rockets as it will help them address the areas they need to improve on their roster. Anthony will replace Ariza at the wing, giving the Rockets another reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. However, Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni should first find a way to make Anthony comfortable sharing the court with Chris Paul and James Harden.
Also, Anthony should work on his defense in order to be more useful for the Rockets. Meanwhile, the suggested trade will give the Thunder an offensive weapon who has no problem playing alongside two ball dominant superstars, Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Eric Gordon could either replace Andre Robertson in the starting lineup or serve as the Thunder’s sixth man next season.