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Rockets strike out on Melo as he goes to OKC

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Looks like the Rockets won’t be seeing Melo in Rocket Red.

NBA: Houston Rockets at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of Carmelo Anthony wanting to come to Houston, he is getting his trade request, but he goes to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 2nd-round pick, according to sources.

Earlier in the summer, after several superstars were being traded to contenders, Carmelo Anthony wanted in on the game. He wanted a trade from the rebuilding Knicks, and after Chris Paul was traded to the Rockets, Houston was his preferred destination.

After months of stalled conversation, mostly due to the Rockets’ inability to find another trade partner to take on Ryan Anderson’s contract, the relationship between Anthony and the Knicks continued to sour and reached a boiling point this weekend when Anthony expanded his list of teams he would waive his no-trade clause for.

Ultimately, once Anthony revealed that he would waive his clause to be traded to the Thunder, a deal quickly struck between New York and Oklahoma City. All it took to lure the Knicks to trade Carmelo was McDermott, Kanter, and a second-round pick.

The Rockets were prepared to offer Ryan Anderson, who is similar to Kanter in terms of skillset, but had nobody else they were willing to deal. It is very possible that Eric Gordon was dangled in trade talks, but the Rockets refused to send him to New York.

The package OKC offered is better, but not by much. The Rockets could have dealt a second-round pick with Anderson, but they did not have another piece like McDermott to offer. Knowing that this is how close the Rockets were to getting Anthony is heartbreaking for the team, and the part that stings the most is that this makes Oklahoma City a much more formidable opponent than they were yesterday.

OKC enters the “arms race” as a legitimate threat now with the Rockets, Spurs, and Warriors out west now.

All the Rockets can say is: