This NBA offseason there’s been no shortage of blockbuster trades. Summer kicked off with a major trade that sent superstar Chris Paul to join James Harden in Houston. Now there’s talk that another premier NBA star may be headed to the Rockets. And, this time, he’d be moving from NYC.
Trade rumors are swirling around Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. While all parties are staying fairly quiet about everything, and those in the know have said no trade deal is “imminent,” that doesn’t mean it won’t happen, or that it won’t happen soon.
Sources inside the Knicks organization have told the media Anthony is amenable to a trade if the teams can work out a deal. That’s a significant concession, even this early in the game because Anthony enjoys a no-trade clause in his current Knicks contract. If he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to. At this point, there are only two teams Anthony agreed to waive the no-trade clause for Houston and Cleveland.
And it’s not hard to blame him. Anthony having the chance to play with LeBron James could be what both Carmelo and Cleveland need to get over the top. Then again, with Houston in a buying mood, desperately chasing Golden State in the Western Conference, Texas may be a better fit for Anthony, especially at this point in his career.
Carmelo is 33, not old by far, even for a game as tough on the body as professional basketball. But he doesn’t have a lot of years left to play at the highest level, and the league has a few truly special opportunities. That’s not to say playing in NYC isn’t a tremendous opportunity. But Anthony has been here a while, and it doesn’t look like the Knicks are ready to do what it will take to unseat James’ Cavs in the East.
A move to Cleveland could give Anthony a chance to come back and visit his New York fans several times a year. And it might put Cleveland in a much better position to match the incredible scoring power of the Warriors.
That said, if Anthony chooses to leave New York, where he’s the marquee star, along with point guard Derek Rose, he could reunite with close friend Chris Paul on a team that’s built much better to share the load. Plus, Anthony could take advantage of being a good fix for one of Houston’s biggest issues last season: consistent offense. When Harden was on, the Rockets looked unstoppable. But when he had an off night, nobody seemed able to step up. That weakness got exposed, and badly, against the seemingly ageless San Antonio Spurs. And there’s no way that inconsistency could match up against Golden State.
So, Houston needs more shooters. Anthony fits that bill. But just how close are New York and Houston to a deal? Only time will tell.