NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Carmelo Anthony trade talks appear to be heating up.
Hours after ESPN reported Wednesday that the Knicks and Rockets have been discussing scenarios that include four-team trades, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Daily News a deal “is at the 2-yard line.”
The rebuilding Knicks have been looking to trade Anthony, 33, since last season. The 10-time All-Star, however, must waive his no-trade clause. He has reportedly told the Knicks he’d be open to being dealt to Houston or Cleveland.
The Anthony-to-Rockets rumors began as soon as Houston engineered a trade to acquire point guard Chris Paul, a friend of Anthony’s, just prior to the beginning of the free agency signing period. The Daily News reported that Rockets All-Star James Harden began recruiting Anthony to Houston late last month at fashion week in Paris.
According to a report from ESPN’s Ian Begley on “SportsCenter,” Anthony is “confident” that the Knicks will trade him to Houston.
From Begley’s appearance:
“I’m told that Carmelo feels pretty confident that a deal will get done at this point to Houston.
“But the teams, to date, are nowhere near the finish line, because it’s so tough for the Knicks and Rockets to get a deal together one-to-one. So, it looks like there’s going to have to be a third team involved. Probably Ryan Anderson is going to have to be moved off to that third team for this deal to happen.”
The Knicks and Rockets have reportedly been exploring three- and four-team trades because Houston is looking to move power forward Ryan Anderson, who is owed $61.3 million over the next three seasons — a contract the Knicks, who are currently only about $1.5 million under the salary cap, would rather not take on.
With Harden and Paul on the roster, the Rockets, who reached the Western Conference semifinals last season, are looking for one more piece to establish themselves as serious contenders for the NBA title. They had reportedly been targeting Paul George, but he was traded from the Pacers to the Thunder last month.
What makes Anthony’s interest in Houston surprising is that he and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, whom he played under with the Knicks from February 2011 to March 2012, clashed in New York. D’Antoni told ESPN The Magazine in May that he quit after Anthony pressed team officials to choose between him and the coach.
Anthony has two years and $54 million remaining on his contract and an $8.1 trade kicker. He, however, has the option of waiving or lowering the trade kicker.