After 10 games in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Houston Rockets realized that Carmelo Anthony is an odd fit on their roster. Despite their lack of wing depth, the Rockets decided to remove the veteran small forward on their official rotation. As of now, the Rockets remain active on the trade market, finding a new home for Anthony.
Since Anthony became trade-eligible, his name has been frequently linked to the Los Angeles Lakers – a team that is aggressively searching for a second superstar to pair with arguably the best basketball player on the planet, LeBron James. Anthony may already be on the downside of his NBA career, but he is a 10-time NBA All-Star who is also a close pal of LeBron.
Though he’s not urging the Lakers’ front office to engage in a trade deal with the Rockets, LeBron James said that it would be great to have Carmelo Anthony on his team. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report recently created a hypothetical three-team trade involving the Lakers, Rockets, and the Chicago Bulls that would send Anthony to Los Angeles.
In the proposed trade deal, the Lakers receive Carmelo Anthony, the Bulls get Ivica Zubac, Marquese Chriss, Brandon Knight, and a lottery-protected 2019 first-round pick, and the Rockets will acquire Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Earlier this season, LeBron James said, “You probably don’t want to be around me when I lose my patience.” His comments about Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony this week indicate LeBron is ready for the Lakers to make a move.— The Athletic (@TheAthleticLA) December 20, 2018
Most Lakers fans are definitely worried that Carmelo Anthony will do harm more than good on their roster. However, Favale believes that the Lakers should take the risk if it only means giving up the likes of Ivica Zubac. If Anthony manages to make himself fit in the Lakers’ system, he and LeBron James could help the team make a deep playoff run this season.
The deal also makes sense for the Bulls and the Rockets. Since they are still in the middle of a rebuilding process, the Bulls won’t mind taking a huge contract if they will be receiving young players and a future first-round pick in return.
“Chicago may not consider itself a salary-dumping ground. Zach LaVine’s ankle injury, along with the team’s general awfulness, should change that. Eating Brandon Knight’s 2019-20 salary ($15.6 million) is worth a first-rounder. He might even offer some utility in a backcourt barren of reliable table-setters. Houston should be similarly up for this deal. Justin Holiday is having a fantastic season and bolsters a shoddy wing rotation.”
Meanwhile, the deal will allow the Rockets to acquire two veterans who could help them become more competitive in the deep Western Conference. Justin Holiday could help them address their major problem in the wing, while Robin Lopez could be a reliable backup for starting center Clint Capela.