Houston's name has been hovering around the Carmelo Anthony rumors ever since they started. At one point they were considered favorites to get Melo.
But then their named went away as the rumors died down and they were considered "out" of the sweepstakes.
After a tweet I read today from SI's Chris Mannix, "Nets are still working, Rockets could get back in it and Berger reported that the Mavs could make a push. Lot of balls in the air" and an article (http://sbn.to/fgZcdB) it seems Houston might be right back in the Melo sweepstakes as a sleeper.
More recently, ESPN reported that "Dallas, Charlotte and Houston are teams that sources say might be willing to trade for Anthony even without his promise to sign a contract extension."
Houston has put together quite a number of tradeable assets. Such assets include: Aaron Brooks, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, Patrick Patterson, Jarred Jeffries and Shane Battier.
After the Rockets get their injured player exception from Yao Ming they will have that and the Trevor Ariza trade exception. Thus making them able to take on a bad contract the Nuggets might have.
So here are some potential trades and why each team does them.
Photo courtesy of Clutchfans.net
The Trade: Aaron Brooks, Shane Battier, Jarred Jeffries, Chase Budinger, Patrick Patterson, draft picks and a trade exception for Carmelo Anthony, Al Harrington and Chris Andersen.
Why Denver does it: Denver is jut about ready to rebuild. When rebuilding you need young players, expiring contracts and draft picks.
Aaron Brooks is an established young point guard with potential to get a lot better. He can score with the best of them and is getting better at being a playmaker for his teammates.
Chase Budinger is a athletic young forward who can shoot the ball from three very well and is in his second year out of Arizona. Again, he has plenty of potential and can step right in and help the youth movement.
Patrick Patterson has played in two games this year for about 3.5 minutes per game. But he was drafted in the lottery and was thought very highly of by the Houston front office. He has a very high potential and Denver needs some young big guys.
Shane Battier is a veteran leader who is one of the best defenders in the game, but he also carries a 7.3 million dollar expiring contract. Jarred Jeffries is a versatile defender but again he carries a 6.8 million dollar contract. They can use that 14 million dollar of cap space in the offseason to sign good young players.
Why Houston does it: Houston wants to be considered a contender and getting Melo will do that.
Carmelo is obviously one of the best players in the league and Houston is in need of that go to guy that can end scoring droughts or be "The Guy" going down the stretch of a game.
Al Harrington would be a great player to have off the bench for instant scoring. He can shoot it from outside very efficiently and is a pretty good rebounder.
Chris Andersen would finally fill the giant hole in the middle that Yao Ming left behind. He stands at 6 foot 10 and has a huge wingspan a long with being extremely athletic. His defense would be vital to a possible championship run.
Ok, this is a big deal so bear with me. It's a three team deal with Houston, Denver and Atlanta.
The Trade: Houston gets: Carmelo Anthony and Al Harrington
Denver gets: Aaron Brooks, Chase Budinger, Yao Ming, Patrick Patterson, Jamaal Crawford, two Houston first rounders and one Hawks first rounder.
Atlanta gets: Chauncey Billups
Why Denver does it: Denver gets what they want and more. They get another young point guard in Aaron Brooks, who would immediately become one of the go to scorers on the team.
They get Chase Budinger, who is in his second year out of Arizona, he's a guy who is athletic but shows a very nice shooting stroke. They also get Patrick Patterson, who was the 14th overall pick in the last draft. He's a guy who has plenty of upside and is just what Denver wants, a young tough big-man with upside.
They also get Jamaal Crawford who is an expiring contract, but can also be a catalyst in the offense and he would become the new No. 1 option on offense.
Here is the big one though, Yao Ming. Denver will get money, press and fans just by saying the big man is on their team. They can sell Yao jerseys even if he doesn't play a second in a Nugget jersey. Add on to it he provides some of the biggest cap relief you can find on the market right now.
Denver has said they want five first rounders but that's not happening. Instead, they get 3 and a lot of good assets.
Why Atlanta does it: Atlanta has been searching for a point guard for a while, they just haven't been able to land one. Mike Bibby is good, but not a championship caliber point guard. Getting Billups will make them a contender in the East even if it does mean giving up the sixth man of the year, whom I might add has said he wants out of Atlanta. Mr. Big shot is just what the doctor ordered in Atlanta.
The Trade: Carmelo Anthony and Al Harrington for Yao Ming, Patrick Patterson, Aaron Brooks, Jarred Jeffries and 2 first round draft picks.
Denver gets its prospects in Patrick Patterson and Chase Budinger. They get a proven scorer and a guy with potential in Aaron Brooks. They also get a good defender who has a $7 million expiring contract in Jarred Jeffries.
Then of course Yao Ming, who provides money and some HUGE cap relief.
Houston's need for a superstar is clear, with very few of these on the trading block GM Daryl Morey is going to have to pull out all the stops to acquire Carmelo. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that probably won't come up again unless Chris Paul becomes available.
With New Jersey reportedly starting to fall out of contention to acquire Melo, there is more of a chance Houston could be the lucky team.
What if he doesn't sign an extension? Some might ask.
Well a lot of people think no matter where he goes he will sign an extension, he's really just chasing $65 million and if he signs after the new CBA he might not be able to get that. Houston is a team ready to win now and Melo is the missing peace in the puzzle.
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