Storyline: Carmelo Anthony to Rockets?

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Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks. Two weeks ago, Carmelo’s wife, La La, said the family thought a trade would have been completed by now. Mentally, Carmelo and his family have moved on to Houston. Reality is another story. Hopefully, Mills and Perry will have the right answers when they address the media on Friday because the Carmelo issue isn’t going away until he goes away.

The Knicks and Rockets re-engaged on Carmelo Anthony trade talks a couple weeks ago. The teams apparently haven’t made much more progress than their last attempt. Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN: “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.”

Carmelo Anthony mostly sidestepped basketball questions in his first comments of this tumultuous offseason, but he did offer one important tidbit: he still hasn’t talked with the new Knicks regime, more than a month after the front office was shuffled. Sources told the Daily News that team president Steve Mills has tried to talk with Anthony to go over options. However, sources said Anthony is not interested in having such a discussion after the team put a deal with the Houston Rockets on hold. “For him, there’s nothing to talk about,” a source said.

Dan D’Antoni, the former Knicks assistant, told The Post on Monday his brother will be able to move on from the rancor in New York. “There were a lot of things that went wrong, but Carmelo is a heckuva player,’’ Dan D’Antoni said. “All I’m saying is Mike’s a good person. He understands people change, things change. Two things you can’t deny: Mike’s a helluva coach. Carmelo is a very good player. If those two see eye-to-eye, Mike and I are always optimistic things are meant to be. The next day is going to be better than the day before.”

The Knicks will contact Cleveland and make a pitch. The obvious move would be to trade Carmelo Anthony and a few first round picks for a bona-fide superstar. However, a source close to Anthony said late Friday that the All Star forward is focused on getting a deal done with Houston. Anthony would have to waive his no-trade and there is no guarantee that Anthony would do that to join a Cavs team that didn’t have Irving. Also, Anthony probably knows better than anyone that LeBron is leaving next July.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski during a SportsCenter appearance Tuesday morning, Anthony “has made it clear to [the Knicks]: I want to go to Houston, I am not interested in talking to you about being reincorporated back into this New York roster.” The Knicks are in complete rebuild mode, but management does not know if it can make a sensible deal to send Anthony to the Rockets. Sources told The Post Anthony’s camp is pushing hard for a Rockets’ trade.

“I think they have a lot on their plate integrating Paul and [James] Harden,” Van Gundy said. “They’re not going to be better offensively than they were last year. They were the second-best team in the league offensively. I thought they had defined roles everyone knew. [Coach] Mike D’Antoni did a fabulous job getting them to play on a consistent basis. The Chris Paul trade, there’s going to be some ups and downs, but they’re better equipped to win in the playoffs. Particularly if Harden has a bad night, they still have a superior player to play through. Their improvement is going to have to be defensively. So I’m interested in the Carmelo thing. I don’t necessarily see it as a natural fit.’’

It appears that Anthony remains committed to finalizing a trade to the Houston Rockets despite the Knicks’ sudden hesitation to complete the deal in the wake of the proposed hiring of new general manager Scott Perry. According to an executive of one the four teams involved in the proposed trade, all sides, including Anthony, are frustrated over reports that Knicks president Steve Mills is having second thoughts. In fact, ESPN reported that the Knicks want the chance to talk to Anthony about possibly remaining in New York, which at this stage in the process seems highly unlikely.

The New York Knicks and Houston Rockets are still trying to work out a deal involving Carmelo Anthony, though it may take some time — if it happens. The teams continue to talk about a trade but no deal is imminent, said a person familiar with the situation. The person said Anthony has told the Knicks he would accept a move to the Rockets but the teams are still trying to find a trade that works for both sides. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the talks between the teams remain private.

Until further notice, Ryan Anderson will be known as “the Melo stopper” because the Houston Rockets forward appears to be responsible for holding up a potential Carmelo Anthony trade. The Knicks haven’t made much financial sense this offseason: $71 million to Tim Hardaway Jr. and the full mid-level to Ron Baker despite the fact that Baker is a restricted free agent. Who’s the Knicks’ cap-ologist anyway, Bernie Madoff? But the Knicks front office, led now and maybe forever by Steve Mills, is making total financial sense by refusing to take on Anderson and his enormous contract in a proposed trade for Anthony.

“They probably can’t beat the Warriors but they can certainly make it interesting,” the Syracuse coach who won an NCAA title with Anthony in 2003 told FanRagSports.com at the Nike Peach Jam here. “Those three guys are capable of giving a lot of people problems. Harden alone gave people a lot of problems last year and now he’s got Chris Paul who’s arguably one of the two or three best point guards in the league and a very good defender. And now you got one of the better scoring options in the league [if Anthony joins the team]. They still got [Eric] Gordon coming off the bench and a couple of other guys.”
5 months ago via ESPN

On the Anthony front, the Knicks and Anthony feel good about the possibility of completing a deal that sends him out of New York, according to sources. The Knicks and Rockets have talked about an Anthony trade recently, with Wojnarowski reporting that “the Rockets have been persistent in their pursuit of Anthony, who is willing to waive his no-trade clause to join Paul and James Harden in Houston and the Knicks do not imagine a scenario where Hardaway is sharing the floor with Anthony to start the season.”
5 months ago via ESPN

To that end, the Knicks and Houston Rockets touched base recently on a trade involving Anthony, per league sources, but talks didn’t gain much traction. One name that came up in discussions was Ryan Anderson, per sources. But the Knicks said at that time they weren’t interested in Anderson, who has been shopped around by the Rockets. Anthony has a no-trade clause and his estranged wife, La La Anthony, said recently Anthony’s priority would be to remain close to his son, Kiyan.
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