The calendar has flipped to August and Carmelo Anthony has still not been traded away from the New York Knicks.
It’s difficult work for team president Steve Mills and new general manager Scott Perry considering Anthony has a no-trade clause that he will waive only if he is dealt to the Houston Rockets.
The problem is, the Rockets don’t have much to offer after gutting most of their roster to acquire point guard Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers. Houston sent eight players, including guards Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley, along with a 2018 protected first-round pick to the Clippers.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has power forward Ryan Anderson on the table to try and coax the Knicks into dealing Anthony, but he is the reason why there has been little to no progress on this transaction.
Over the next three seasons, Anderson is set to make over $60 million before his contract expires in 2020. For a Knicks team attempting to shed the $54 million owed to Anthony over the next two years, bringing on a huge contract like that makes little sense.
Anderson has also been fairly inconsistent over the past few years. While he is a versatile player for his size at 6’10”, Anderson averaged just 13.6 points per game last season with Houston. The year before with the New Orleans Pelicans, the 29-year-old put up 17 per night.
There is also the matter of Kristaps Porzingis, the 22-year-old power forward that has become the face of the franchise thanks to his rare blend of size and skill. There is no need to bring on a player like Anderson that could steal minutes from the young superstar.
Mills and the Knicks have been smart about this though, which is a surprising statement when it comes to this team’s management, letting it be known for the past month that they don’t want Anderson.
But that’s why this deal has taken so long.
The only way that Anthony will be Houston come the fall is if the Knicks and Rockets can find a third team that would take Anderson and give New York a decent enough return.