Before the new general manager and stall in negotiations rumors had a three team trade structure built out which included Anthony, Rockets power forward Ryan Anderson and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Since New York announced talks were on hold there's been several differing stories of where trade talks stand:
First we had reports New York wants to try and convince Melo to stay:
Quickly followed by reports Melo still wants to be traded to Houston:
And lastly now that Portland believes they will be able to acquire Carmelo:
Behind the scenes there's several dynamics working against the deal:
- New York's new general manager wants to get value for Melo. He doesn't want to take the job to immediately be a laughing stock or get undermined by a deal negotiated by James Dolan.
- Houston doesn't have the assets to work one-on-one with New York. Daryl Morey doesn't want to give up Ariza, Gordon or Capela. He wants to unload Ryan Anderson, at three years and $60 million, but someone has to be willing to take him.
- Portland appears to be covering their tracks after getting caught talking trade with the Rockets. Rip City has never come up as a city Carmelo would be willing to waive his no trade clause for, but here they are claiming to be in the running. The assets they have to move are slightly better than Ryan Anderson, but mostly three year deals well over eight figures.
- When trade talks appear to have reached their apex the Trail Blazers and Rockets were unable to find a destination to land Meyers Leonard. The main problem being his contract and play are so bad the Knicks didn't want him.
With all this going against the trade there's one surefire way for Carmelo to end up in Houston... Pull a Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabber, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, Steve Francis, Vince Carter, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony and force your way out of town.
It's a pretty illustrious list of All-Stars, which includes both Paul and Anthony, and they all forced their way out of a town through sheer displeasure and pouting.
Carmelo has done it once before and it's time to do it again. Force your way out of town, Melo.
Foment discontent now. Make sure New York knows that even after shedding Phil Jackson they're preparing for a full season of discontent. Winter is here, if you may.
In the end the Knicks are not exploring trades for Melo because they want to. Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins each fetched dimes on the dollar for their services and this trade will be no different. They're trading him because his contract is too hefty for a rebuild and because there's little chance a copacetic relationship can be rebuilt.
Carmelo and his team should do what they must to force this trade. They have to be sitting on tomes of information about the New York Knicks persistent dysfunction. Why not leak a few stories to send a message to James Dolan that the stories will keep coming out unless Melo is moved?
Bust out all the pout emojis or even a #OnceAKnick hashtag to anger the team and fans. Hell, say something about how Kristaps Porzingas doesn't have the work ethic to become an All-Star. Rock the boat hard.
The best way for Melo to get to Houston at this point is going to be to force his way here. He controls all the cards because of the ironclad no-trade clause the Knicks gave him. Why not let it get messy?