Star talents like DeMarcus Cousins and CJ McCollum might have Carmelo Anthony’s ear these days, but his sights still appear set only for Houston.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony remains dedicated to only accepting a deal to the Rockets. Such efforts by the likes of Cousins, McCollum, and perhaps others around the league seem to be falling in vain.
The good news is that, now guided by Steve Mills and Scott Perry, New York is in no particular rush to pull the trigger. Being comfortable with Anthony returning to the team for training camp may help the Knicks light the fire under the star a bit. Instead of when and where, the question becomes deal, or no deal? Anthony will be left with that decision and may be forced to wait it out if he really wants to join the Rockets.
At this point, getting a deal done is contingent upon the Knicks finding a third team to take on Ryan Anderson’s contract. Houston can’t take on Anthony’s contract without sending out Anderson, but the latter’s commitment is too lucrative and long for New York to add it to their respective payroll. Anderson is a skilled player, but his contract is an eye sore. Talent and future assets aside, any deal involving Anthony should allow the Knicks to start fresh and create some much needed cap space and/or flexibility for the upcoming offseasons. Including Anderson doesn’t help the team accomplish such a goal.
That means additional teams will need to be enlisted to collaborate on any such agreement. The more teams that are involved, the more complications negotiations become. Each party needs to receive what they are looking for. In order to ensure that happens, conversations will need to be had and options should be explored. That takes time.
Extending these trade talks into the season would give the Knicks and Rockets the time they need to evaluate the possibilities. What’s more, the longer Anthony has to wait, the more disgruntled he could become in New York. That could certainly lead him to be open to other destinations, even if he can’t foresee that happening just yet.