Carmelo Anthony and his representatives are “cautiously optimistic” a trade to the Houston Rockets can happen soon, and mentally, the New York Knicks star may already be there.
That’s the latest from the New York Daily News, as the Knicks prepare to tip off training camp next week.
In case you’ve missed the details of the summer-long saga, it goes like this:
1. Anthony wants to be traded from the Knicks to the Rockets, where he could join close friend Chris Paul and scoring machine James Harden.
2. The Knicks are OK with such a plan. In fact, the Knicks are willing to trade Anthony just about anywhere.
3. But Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract. That means the Knicks cannot trade him just anywhere. For Anthony, it’s Houston or bust.
4. So what’s the problem? Well, the Knicks don’t like anything the Rockets are willing to offer in return. On top of that, neither team can find a third party to help make a deal work.
5. Oh, there’s also the sudden scuttlebutt that suggests former Knicks coach and current Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni may not want Anthony on his team at all. D’Antoni had his dramas in New York — but the Rockets seem to love him. He supposedly doesn’t want to mess with a good thing.
It’s a long, dramatic story, and the plot only continues to twist. Unless you consider the most likely scenario is Anthony and the Knicks, will most likely be together … again.
Still, for Anthony, there appears to be a sliver of hope. Or at least some wishful thinking.
“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,” wrote Frank Isola of the Daily News.
“Mentally, Carmelo and his family have moved on to Houston,” he wrote. “Reality is another story.”
What does it all mean? It means Anthony is likely to start camp in New York, with one eye on the door. As Isola noted, that’s not exactly the ideal situation for a team looking to start fresh in the post-Phil Jackson era.
But as many around the league will tell you, if Anthony ever gives up on the idea of the Rockets, he could be traded from the Knicks in a matter of moment.
Neither scenario, thought, seems too likely.
“The Knicks under new team president Steve Mills and new general manager Scott Perry are well within their right to wait for the best deal possible before finally sending Carmelo on his way,” Isola wrote.
“The problem, however, is that Carmelo has limited his trade list to one team, the Rockets. So, unless Houston can find someone to take Ryan Anderson’s contract (he’s owed over $60M over the next three seasons), Carmelo is stuck in limbo.”