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Houston Rockets: 3 trade ideas for Carmelo Anthony to the Los Angeles Lakers

By Michael Knight
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets wait for and inbound at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets wait for and inbound at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 20: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets shakes hands with his good friend LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers after the Lakers’ home opener against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets 124-115. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 20: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets shakes hands with his good friend LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers after the Lakers’ home opener against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets 124-115. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony have made it clear of their intentions to break up. While the team cannot officially trade him until December 15, there are some potential suitors, including the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony never really quite worked out. The two weren’t quite the fit that Daryl Morey and the rest of the front office envisioned when they signed him this summer to play next to James Harden and one of his best friends, Chris Paul.

Another one of Melo’s best friends, LeBron James, might be interested in giving him a shot. It was reported today that he is interested in adding him to the Lakers. One Banana Boat partner didn’t work out, why not try another?

Source: LeBron James interested in Carmelo Anthony joining the Lakers @TheAthleticNBA https://t.co/v5hDhkYbaS

— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) December 7, 2018

Carmelo Anthony cannot be traded until the 15th of December due to the Rockets signing him in the summer, but it’s never too early to start speculating on some potential trades. If the Lakers end up wanting him (and why wouldn’t you listen to LeBron?), then the Rockets need to hop on that as soon as possible.

What are three potential moves that Houston can make with Los Angeles to send Melo to the LakeShow?

Next: Trade idea No. 1

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 2: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on November 2, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 2: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on November 2, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Melo for draft compensation

Carmelo Anthony, unfortunately, does not have a ton of trade value at this point in his career. After a rough beginning of the season for Houston (40.5% shooting, 32.8% from 3), he isn’t going to be demanding a first rounder anytime soon.

He may, though, be able to get the Rockets a second-round pick or two. Depending on his market once December 15 hits, he could be traded for some future Lakers second round picks. If the market isn’t great, he may just be worth one from LA.

A straightforward trade might be the way to go for the Rockets. While they likely want to include some other assets in future trades, the Lakers might just be interested in getting just Melo to join the Meme Team.

Here’s one trade idea that nets the Rockets a second rounder in return for the once-great All-Star Melo:

This would be the simplest of trades for both teams and would be somewhat mutually beneficial. I still don’t really see why the Lakers would want Melo, but this would be a pretty cheap way for them to acquire him. For the Rockets, a second rounder is better than just straight up cutting him.

Next: Trade idea No. 2

SAN ANTONIO, TX – NOVEMBER 30: Michael Carter-Williams #1 of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball against the San Antonio Spurs on November 30, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – NOVEMBER 30: Michael Carter-Williams #1 of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball against the San Antonio Spurs on November 30, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)

Multiple asset transfer

Another way to get this deal done would be giving the Lakers a little bit more than just Carmelo Anthony. Another guy the Rockets are likely trying to get rid of is Michael Carter-Williams. On the season (before the Jazz game), Houston has been outscored by 24.2 points per 100 possessions with him on the court.

Honestly, he just doesn’t fit with the style the Rockets are trying to play. He cannot shoot, but his playmaking is decent at times and, when focused, he’s shown the ability to play defense. If the Lakers are willing to take a chance on him, maybe the Rockets can get another second round pick.

Take a look at this potential offer:

It’s possible that the Lakers would refuse to get two below-average NBA players for two second rounders and a salary filler. If that’s the case, the Rockets might need to look elsewhere for someone who could take a chance on MCW, because he certainly needs to be away from Houston as soon as he can.

Next: Trade idea No. 3

WASHINGTON, DC –  NOVEMBER 26: Marquese Chriss #0 of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball against the Washington Wizards on November 26, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC –  NOVEMBER 26: Marquese Chriss #0 of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball against the Washington Wizards on November 26, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bigger asset trading

The Rockets and Lakers might also be interested in throwing in some additional assets that could make sense for both sides. Throwing in another asset that would have slightly more value than just Carmelo might sweeten the pot a little bit.

Marquese Chriss is a former top-10 pick that has fallen from grace after a rough start to his career in Phoenix. He has shown flashes of being a productive NBA player at times, so he still has a little bit of value at this point in his career. As bad as he has been, Chriss is somehow still just 21 years old and has plenty of time to improve.

Here’s the last trade we’ll propose today:

For the Rockets, Ivica Zubac is a young player that has hardly played since being drafted by the Lakers in 2016. He, like Chriss, is also 21 years old and has shown the ability to rebound at a decent rate and potentially score some as well. He could be the third center on the roster of the Rockets and learn from Clint Capela and Nene.

Could this be a misunderstanding?

When I originally heard that LeBron wants Melo on his team, I was honestly surprised. The Lakers, who are currently on a bit of a roll, don’t really need someone who could potentially mess up the offensive chemistry.

On the other hand, if Melo is going to succeed in this league, it would be next to his Banana Boat brothers. Can LeBron James fix Anthony’s career and get it back on track? I hope so, because he was honestly a good teammate while in Houston, just not a great fit.

Next. Daryl Morey gives his thoughts on Melo

We’ll see in the coming weeks where Melo ends up, if anywhere at all. If trades don’t work out, the Rockets might have to just cut their losses and release him.

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