The Houston Rockets traded Carmelo Anthony and cash to the Bulls, but what did they receive in return for the 10-time All-Star?
The Rockets sent Melo along with cash to the Bulls. Anthony won’t play a game in a Bulls jersey, as Chicago is at the beginning stages of a rebuild and doesn’t have any need for a veteran power forward. The Bulls made the deal for the $1.5 million in cash considerations promised from the Rockets, similar to a deal the two teams made for Michael Carter-Williams earlier this month.
So what did the Rockets receive in the deal? Well, Chicago sent Houston the draft rights to Tadijia Dragicevic, a 32-year-old player from Serbia that was originally drafted by the Jazz in 2008. Dragicevic never played a single game in the NBA and it is highly unlikely that the Rockets will ever look his way. The Bulls received Jon Diebler from Houston, who was drafted by the Trail Blazers in 2011, but has yet to play in the NBA and probably never will.
Sources: Rockets and Bulls have completed trade: Carmelo Anthony, draft rights to Jon Diebler and $1.56 million to Chicago for draft rights to Tadija Dragicevoc.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 22, 2019
Obviously, the real gain for Houston is that they cut their luxury tax bill by $2.6 million by trading Anthony instead of waiving him. Since they also cut James Nunnally on Monday, the team now has one open roster spot after signing Kenneth Faried. That open spot could be used to sign Nunnally to another 10-day contract or it could be used for a different player.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the team has not yet decided if they will re-sign Nunnally.
Carmelo Anthony was Houston’s biggest acquisition of the offseason, but after just 10 games with the team, it was clear that he wasn’t a good fit. Carmelo’s mid-range and post up heavy offensive game doesn’t fit within Mike D’Antoni‘s scheme, and Anthony’s limited mobility defensively left him exposed in Houston’s switch everything defense.
The trade didn’t officially go through until Tuesday, as the NBA office was closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day. The Bulls will waive Anthony, although they may not do so immediately, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Ultimately, this trade was great for all parties involved. It helped to lessen Houston’s luxury tax bill and opened up a roster spot, the Bulls got extra cash and Carmelo Anthony will become a free agent, giving him the ability to sign with any team.