ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that the teams have re-engaged in discussions after the Knicks suddenly broke them off last month.
The discussions appeared to be getting serious in July, with a Daily News report at one point saying that a trade agreement was at the “2-yard line.”
However, after the Knicks promoted Steve Mills to team president and hired Scott Perry as general manager, they put the talks on hold.
“Our view is if there’s an opportunity that works for Carmelo and works for us, then we’ll look at some kind of trade,” Mills said then. “But we also feel that Carmelo Anthony could easily be a part of our team next year.”
The Knicks first began actively trying to move Anthony before last season’s trade deadline. He, however, must waive his no-trade clause, something he was at first reluctant to do.
Now Anthony reportedly will only waive the clause to join the Rockets and is no longer interested in playing for the Knicks.
Speaking to reporters last week in Baltimore, Anthony, 33, refused to discuss his future, but he did call the past year an “emotional rollercoaster.”
“But I had to find peace,” he said. “I had to come to peace with myself, come to peace with kind of the situation I’m in and kind of try to find happiness again. I kind of lost that a little bit, but I’m finding that now, and it feels good.”
The Anthony-to-Rockets rumors began as soon as Houston orchestrated a trade in June 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 also began recruiting Anthony to Houston during fashion week in Paris.
The Knicks and Rockets had 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.
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, which he is reportedly willing to waive.
Last season, Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.