Carmelo Anthony could be Houston bound

The New York Knicks might finally be able to finish a job that Phil Jackson started so long ago: trade Carmelo Anthony.

According to multiple reports, the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks have engaged teams in three- and four-trade proposals to try and make a deal work. Anthony needs to waive his no-trade clause, which he would likely only do for the Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Knicks, in an effort to get younger, would prefer to move Ryan Anderson’s sizeable contract to another team. Four-team trades can be tricky, although the New York Daily News reports that a deal is “on the 2-year line.”

Anthony would seemingly form a super team in Houston with MVP runner-up James Harden and friend Chris Paul. The other teams–which have yet to be named–would receive spare parts for facilitating the deal.

The Knicks could then start building around a core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Frank Ntilikina. New York, however, is still saddled with the contracts of veterans Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee.

Lee would be the more useful player to a contending team, since he can serve in a 3-and-D role. The veteran guard inked a four-year, $52 million deal last summer, while Noah received a four-year, $72 million contract.

Much of the Knicks’ salary cap is tied up among the two veterans and the newly acquired Hardaway.

For the Rockets, though, the deal is not as much of a slam dunk as general manager Daryl Morey thinks. While Harden is still young, both Paul (32 years old) and Anthony (33 years old) are past their primes. They still represent elite talent, but their games are going to decline–not improve–through the length of their contracts.

Meanwhile, Houston needed to relinquish considerable depth in the deal. Morey shipped Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, a future first-round pick out of town, and a deal for Anthony will surely require Ryan Anderson–at least.

Outside of Clint Capela, P.J. Tucker, and Nene, there is very little certainty about the Rockets’ depth. While the names sound nice on paper, Houston lacks the requisite role players to firmly challenge the Golden State Warriors.

A deal for Anthony could shift the makeup of multiple teams. While the Rockets would vault near the top of the Western Conference, they are in no better position to overtake the Warriors or San Antonio Spurs than they were last season. And the team will get far older in the process.

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