NBA Rumors: Carmelo Anthony 'Counting On' Knicks To Trade Him To Rockets

Chris Paul center holds his new jersey as he is joined by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey left and coach Mike D'Antoni right during a news conference Friday

Chris Paul center holds his new jersey as he is joined by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey left and coach Mike D'Antoni right during a news conference Friday

Earlier in the recent week, reports were rife that the Knicks and Rockets were close to finalizing a deal that would include a third team in the negotiating table but would ultimately send Anthony to the Rockets.

So, Phil Jackson's years-long campaign of public grumbling about his best player-which achieved no conceivable organizational benefit, but seemed mostly to satisfy Jackson's urge to separate the ongoing dysfunction of his basketball operation from his reputation as a brilliant basketball mind-had the unintended effect of driving down the player's value, such that the very move the organization was hoping to make now has become unfavorable and unpalatable? Mills and Perry are evaluating whether it's worth allowing time for Anthony's standing around the NBA to be rebuilt, as opposed to trading him at an all-time low, league sources said.

While Houston is reportedly still looking to trade for Carmelo Anthony, Paul said he is eager to join up with his new main sidekick, James Harden.

Everything that Rockets have done over the past two summers in giving Harden contract extensions that amount to $228 million over the next six seasons says that he's their leader. Melo wants out from the Big Apple. And he apparently has his heart set on one team in particular.

Reuters/Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsNew York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) inspects the ball before a game against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden, April 6, 2017.

Unfortunately, neither team has the trade assets to convince the Knicks to give Anthony up.

While a trio of Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Melo is a fascinating one, it doesn't appear that Anthony has any interest.

James Harden is either really pumped after this or thoroughly dejected - you be the judge. "Even if Clark and agent Bill Duffy don't quite get their asking price, he is about to be rewarded".

Why else would he make this spot-on Ricky Bobby reference in his introductory presser? Like the Astros, the Rockets are trying to build a team to go all the way. If the Texans can get back on track, it could be a great time to live in H-Town!

The Rockets could meet Anthony's $26 million salary for next season but likely would also offer an exit clause that could allow Anthony to test free agency and let the club escape a salary cap hit of $27.9 million for the 2018-19 campaign.

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