NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As of Wednesday, a deal to trade Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks to the Houston Rockets was reportedly at the “2-yard line.”
But on Thursday night, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that those talks are now on hold.
Citing league sources, ESPN reported that the Knicks were “pausing” the trade talks centered on Anthony and want to launch a conversation with him about “reincorporating him into the organization.”
ESPN reported that after talking with the Rockets and the Cleveland Cavaliers for nearly a month in pursuit of a deal, the Knicks told both teams they are stepping back from trade talks “for a short time.”
The rebuilding Knicks had been looking to trade Anthony, 33, since last season. The 10-time All-Star, however, must waive his no-trade clause. He had 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.
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.
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.