We haven’t heard much lately on the Carmelo Anthony front, as the chatter seems to have mostly died down, at least publicly. But as NBA training camp start dates are fast approaching, Anthony is still holding out hope he’ll be donning Rockets red come next week.
According to the New York Daily News, not only has Carmelo and his family “mentally” moved on to Houston already, but Melo wants to be a Rocket by Monday, which is the start of the New York Knicks training camp in Tarrytown (also known as Sleepy Hollow), New York.
“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 hold up on a deal is still thought be to be Ryan Anderson’s contract, which the Rockets must move if they’re to fit Anthony’s high salary into their plans, and the Knicks have thus far refused to take Anderson in return. The Rockets have been working to find an additional team or teams to help facilitate a deal by acting as a third (or fourth) party that would be willing to absorb Anderson’s $60 million over three years that he still has left, but have yet to have any luck.
Unfortunately for Houston, the upheaval in the Knicks’ front office is pretty much the only thing that’s kept Carmelo from actually joining the Rockets. According to the Daily News, former New York GM Phil Jackson was ready to pull the trigger, but was fired from his post before he could consummate the deal.
“In July, a source familiar with the negotiations between the Knicks and Houston Rockets told The Daily News that the teams had discussed parameters of a potential trade, and that the deal was on the ‘two-yard line’... If Jackson doesn’t get fired, the deal likely would have been completed.”
So instead, here we are on the precipice of the new NBA season (thank goodness for that), and Carmelo is still a Knick and Anderson still a Rocket with no definitive end in sight.
And while Anthony’s no-trade clause limits the Knicks’ options — and right now, he’ll only waive the clause for the Rockets — the Knicks appear content to head into the season with a disgruntled and unhappy superstar on their hands.
Unless, of course, Carmelo gets his wish, and the New York front office comes to their senses before Monday. But don’t hold your breath — I still feel the most likely scenario is that the Rockets get their man during the actual season, either for the same or less than what they’re offering now. We all know where the leverage lies in this situation.
But it’s just something to keep an eye on as we head into next week, and the NBA training camps begin kicking into high gear.