With the Celtics and Cavs completing a blockbuster deal to send Kyrie Irving to Boston, most every big star that has been rumored to be traded this offseason has been, with one notable exception. Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul, and Kyrie Irving all have been traded this summer and yet, the one man that has reportedly been on the block for a full year, Carmelo Anthony, remains a Knick.
There are obvious differences in Anthony’s situation than the others, namely his no-trade clause and ability to steer a trade to any team he so chooses. Anthony has made it clear that the Rockets are the team he wants toc be dealt to, so he can play with Paul and James Harden, but there are serious hurdles to making it happen. The biggest is matching salary to make a legal trade without crippling the Knicks’ cap space even more than it already has been.
So, the two sides need a third and possibly a fourth team to make a trade work, and to this point they haven’t found those teams. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the discussions between the two sides have become “fairly dormant” and there’s a good chance Anthony ends up reporting to Knicks camp.
“Carmelo Anthony right now, those talks have been fairly dormant between Houston and New York. They’ve tried to find third, fourth teams, the Rockets have, to help facilitate a deal with Carmelo Anthony. They haven’t been able to do that. And both sides are prepared for the fact that Melo may have to go to camp with the Knicks.”
That’s not particularly encouraging information for Rockets or Knicks fans hoping to see a resolution to this lengthy saga sooner than later. Anthony has been connected to the Rockets for almost two months, but the two sides have apparently not even come close to a reasonable structure on a deal. The problem is the only player that can really be used to match salary with Anthony is Ryan Anderson, who makes nearly $20 million a year and has three years remaining on his deal.
That’s not a palatable contract for New York to take on, and it’s not easy to find a team willing to take that on, especially considering the lack of young assets or attractive draft assets Houston (or New York) could give up to make a deal happen. If Melo does have to report to Knicks camp as the two sides seem to expect, it will make for more of a circus than usual in New York as the Knicks’ efforts to move forward in a rebuild will again be at a stalemate.
(h/t Pro Basketball Talk)