Could Carmelo Anthony rocket off to Houston? According to a league source, the Rockets will make a bid for Carmelo Anthony this summer, even though they probably won’t have cap space and would have to orchestrate a creative sign-and-trade. The source said Houston asked the Knicks about Anthony before February’s trade deadline. The Knicks have held discussions with the Rockets about power forward Omer Asik. Even though Rockets president Daryl Morey is the pioneer of advanced statistics and Anthony has never fared well in some efficiency categories, Morey’s old-school instincts believe he could form a terrific Big 3 with Dwight Howard and James Harden. Rockets management also believes Anthony has made advancements in the grit department the past two seasons. The only way the Rockets can get under the cap is by dealing the expiring contracts of Jeremy Lin, who is entering the poison pill year of $15 million, and Asik, also scheduled to make $15 million. But even if the Rockets don’t, a desperate Knicks team could take on Lin or Asik and draft picks if Phil Jackson doesn’t believe in building around Anthony. The Knicks still would be set for 2015’s free agency and Lin wold be a drawing card during a season the Knicks may want to tank and fall into the lottery. Howard has been most outspoken in encouraging Anthony to consider smaller markets than New York just like Howard did in eschewing Los Angeles. Plus, Anthony said he’s willing to take “a pay cut’’ — which would be less severe in Houston. There are no state income taxes in Texas. Howard told USA Today last month the Big Apple is only good for a player’s brand if the team is winning. “If you don’t win, you’re not going to get all the [off-court] stuff you want anyway,” Howard said. “I saw that last year [in Los Angeles]. I was in the biggest market for the NBA, and we lost, so those [companies] aren’t going to be coming to you for losing.
Source: Rockets could make a big push for Carmelo
New York Post | Mar 14