So it turns out that Carmelo Anthony was the straw that broke the camel’s back leading up to Phil Jackson’s departure as New York Knicks team president on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the 33-year-old Anthony and his representation approached the Knicks about possibly buying out the final two years and $54 million of his contract with the Knicks. While Jackson wanted to grant Anthony his wish, Knicks owner James Dolan wasn’t willing to do so, thus “accelerating” talks of a split, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Dolan was the man that played a large part in bringing Anthony to the Knicks via the Denver Nuggets in 2011 and still does not seem willing to part ways with him even though New York is in the process of rebuilding upon its youth.
But a buyout is not out of the question yet.
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith (h/t Fletcher Mackel, WDSU TV), if Carmelo Anthony receives a buyout from Dolan and the Knicks, he will sign with the Houston Rockets, who all of a sudden are looking like the second-best team in the Western Conference.
Earlier on Wednesday, Houston acquired nine-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers for Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley and a 2018 first-round draft pick as first reported by the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It has created one of the most imposing backcourts in basketball as he will join the explosive MVP runner-up James Harden.
Adding another premier offensive talent that can put up 20-plus points per night with the facilitating skills of Paul and the elite scoring of Harden would complete Houston’s “Big 3” and allow the Rockets to mount a legitimate challenge for the Western Conference crown.