Before Carmelo Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks a few years ago, Daryl Morey and the Rockets made a serious bid to pry him away from the Denver Nuggets despite Anthony's insistence that he would test free agency. Three years later, the Knicks are in disarray and have handed $60 million to Phil Jackson to fix the mess, and the Rockets are now looking to make up for lost time as they plan another free agency pitch, reports Adrian Wojnarowski.
Here's what Woj had to say:
Anthony has free-agent options, and two have risen above everything else: Chicago and Houston, sources with direct knowledge of his plans told Yahoo Sports. The Bulls have an easier path to clear the necessary salary-cap space to sign Anthony, but the Rockets believe they can shed the contracts necessary to offer a third near-max deals alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden, league sources said.
The pursuit seems to mix with Daryl Morey's comments earlier this year that the team was still looking to add a third star to the mix, and would make the Rockets serious contenders to challenge anyone in the NBA. Anthony has his detractors for his underwhelming defense and his sometimes-selfish offense (have you seen his supporting cast?), but he is among the most potent scorers in the NBA and would make the Rockets incredibly dangerous on that end. Despite playing on some fairly underwhelming squads, Carmelo has made the playoffs every season since he entered the league.
Can you imagine the Rockets with Anthony deployed as a stretch four? How can anyone dream of defending that? Anthony has been extremely successful as a power forward, and alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden, the sky is the limit.
The only problem is bringing him here. Doing so would require trading both Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, who are due balloon payments in their salaries and that would be a challenge. There aren't too many teams that would be eager to let the Rockets create the latest super team, but Morey might be able to find a taker.
It's way too early to forecast with any accuracy how likely a Carmelo Anthony signing would be, but if Woj is printing it, it's worth discussing.