Rockets, Knicks trade talks involving Carmelo Anthony have stagnated

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images /

Trade discussions between the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks for Carmelo Anthony have become dormant.

The Carmelo Anthony situation is nothing short of a long, drawn out mess.

In Cleveland, the messy departure of GM David Griffin along with a disgruntled Kyrie Irving had the Cavaliers’ organization looking, well, unorganized. Add the LeBron-to-the-Lakers rumblings to that and it’s obvious why Houston morphed into Carmelo’s only trade destination.

The Rockets are a more stable franchise, with James Harden locked up until 2023 and Chris Paul likely to re-sign next year barring a chain of unforeseen events.

The Rockets have struggled to form an appealing package for New York in exchange for Carmelo. They’ve experimented with including a third team in the deal but that hasn’t led to any luck either. Although the Knicks are ready to rebuild without Melo, they aren’t willing to let him go for pennies on the dollar.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the trade talks between the Rockets and Knicks have stagnated, (via Chris Barnewall of CBS Sports).

“Carmelo Anthony right now, those talks have been fairly dormant between Houston and New York. The Rockets have tried to find third, fourth teams to help facilitate a deal with Carmelo Anthony. They haven’t been able to do that. Both sides are prepared for the fact that Melo may have to go to camp.”

The Houston Rockets aren’t in a desperate situation. They have two great players, along with floor spacing and a solid bench. ESPN’s RPM projections predict that Houston will finish with the second best record in the NBA next season.

The Rockets are in a position to wait out the Knicks with Anthony. New York could eventually grow desperate to trade away Carmelo, and the Rockets could make a move before the trade deadline in February, but they shouldn’t be too patient.

Cleveland could emerge as Carmelo’s target destination.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers were originally on Carmelo’s short list of preferred teams, but they fell out of his favor for the reasons mentioned above.

In the Cavaliers-Celtics trade, Cleveland got the better deal, at least in the short-term. In exchange for Kyrie Irving, the Cavs received Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first-round pick. Factor in the acquisitions of Derrick Rose and Jeff Green, and Cleveland will march into next season as a better team.

Carmelo probably doesn’t know if LeBron will stay in Cleveland beyond next season, because I’m not sure if LeBron knows himself. But adding Carmelo to the Cavaliers’ roster would give them a great chance to win a championship, even if the team only lasts for a single season.

The Cavs have an improved roster and a new, capable GM in Koby Altman. The franchise is in a better position than it was just a month ago. Cleveland could appear on Anthony’s radar again, which would decrease Houston’s chances of landing the star.

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The Rockets shouldn’t cave in and give up the barn for Carmelo, but they should keep a close eye on any team that has a realistic chance to sign Anthony.