Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Knicks SF 'Cautiously Optimistic' of Rockets Deal

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2017

Brooklyn Nets' Randy Foye (2) defends New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 16, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony's camp is "cautiously optimistic" that the star forward will be traded to the Houston Rockets before Monday, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

Isola wrote, "Two weeks ago, Carmelo's wife, La La, said the family thought a trade would have been completed by now. Mentally, Carmelo and his family have moved on to Houston. Reality is another story."

But Isola added that the move is far from guaranteed.

"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," he 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."

That, in turn, leaves the organization in limbo. It's hard to imagine Anthony in a Knicks uniform again given his tumultuous season with the team in 2016-17 as former president Phil Jackson openly voiced his desire to move the superstar. And much of the talk surrounding the Knicks this offseason has regarded the probability of trading Anthony.

But given Anthony's no-trade clause—giving him full vetoing power over any deals—he's essentially been able to hand-pick his next destination. He reportedly has eyes for Houston alone, where he'd join Chris Paul and James Harden on a roster that would have a chance to unseat the Golden State Warriors atop the Western Conference and NBA.

While Anthony is no longer in his prime, the 33-year-old still averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season. If he embraced a small-ball 4 role, his scoring prowess and ability to stretch the floor would make him a dangerous weapon in Houston's scheme. 

If the Knicks and Rockets can finally work out a deal, that is.