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Sports Illustrated: Carmelo Anthony open to multiyear deal with Houston Rockets

Chris Mannix:

Multiple league sources familiar with his situation told SI.com that Anthony would also be open to signing a long-term deal with Houston or New Jersey should either of those teams offer the Nuggets an acceptable trade package.

Update at 8:23PM

Let me first say, I’m absolutely floored.  I did not think there was any chance Anthony would express interest in the Rockets, especially given Yao’s injury status.  I had assumed that his refusal to extend with Denver was born primarily out of a desire to join the Knicks; with this news, it appears the motivation is simply to leave the Nuggets.

Again, I’m shocked.  To an outsider, I don’t know if there’s any reason to believe in the Rockets’ chances at a title over Denver’s.  But nevertheless…

Anthony, like Chris Paul, would be the elite talent that could immediately vault this team into contention.  He makes a living at the line and would restore parity to the Rockets’ lineup, filling their position of biggest need.

One has to wonder if the Ariza deal was made as a precursor – Lee would instill perimeter defense at the ‘2’ on the nights when Martin/Melo become just too much lethargy on that end.

Also interesting if Morey pulled the trigger: would probably be the first recorded philosophical schism in the stat-geek community, with ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh recently opining on Anthony’s true worth.

More as it comes.

Update:

  • Had you asked me who my least favorite player in basketball not named Sasha Vujacic was, 24 hours ago, I would have promptly responded, ‘Carmelo Anthony.’  The Nuggets forward has always rubbed me the wrong way for some reason, perhaps due to his complete manhandling of my Longhorns his freshman year (and T.J Ford’s final year at Texas) at Syracuse.  Funny how our perceptions change due to circumstances – I’d drive to the airport to pick Anthony up if it was required right now.
  • Had to explain this to a non-sports-fan right now: ‘the hierarchy of hope’, if you will, goes Paul, Anthony, Bosh.  Bosh is a top-15 player, Anthony somewhere in the 6-8 range, and Paul in the 3-5 range.  If you had your pick, you go with Paul everyday, but as I said, Anthony certainly qualifies as the ‘elite’ acquisition I and others have been saying this team needs.
  • Again, just utterly, utterly, utterly shocking that this guy actually has interest in the Rockets.  This is an indication that for Anthony, it is not just about glamour, glitz, and camaraderie, but also a true chance at winning, something he would be given in Houston – I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined such an inclusion on this man’s list of priorities.  Again, preconceptions…
  • The skeptic will proffer that this is simply a ploy by ‘Melo for leverage.  I’m not sure I follow the logic here.  What exactly would he stand to gain by such deception?  If he doesn’t truly want to come to Houston, then that will eventually come out, and all parties would be back at square one.  I highly doubt he would be trying to push the Knicks’ hand to up their offer – they’re interested enough as is.  This isn’t a leverage ploy; the interest is real.
  • The last guy in Rockets red to put up the point totals Anthony has piled up wasn’t Tracy McGrady but rather a native of Nigeria.
  • Where would a Carmelo acquisition rank in terms of excitement?  I would still put it below the McGrady deal not just because the latter was considered by some as the best player in basketball, but also for the combo effect of partnership with a 24-year-old-Yao.  Actually, scratch that.  Open question for the audience: what’s more exciting?  A 25 year old Yao and a 24 year old McGrady with nothing else (and one of the worst general managers in basketball [meaning uncertain chance at filling the cupboard]) or a 30 year old broken down Yao with Anthony, a stacked roster, and maybe the best talent evaluator in basketball…?  I still have to pick the former, just simply because, at that time, we didn’t quite know just how bad Dawson was as a talent evaluator.  We naively assumed the supporting cast would come with just a matter of time.
  • What would an Anthony deal take?  For one, I do not think coexistence would be possible between a perimeter trio of Brooks-Martin-Anthony.  My head tells me Anthony-Martin may not even be palatable, but my heart prays we could hold onto #12.  As I mused in the comments section, the only time it actually hits me how much I like Kevin Martin is when there’s a possibility he could be traded.  I really, really like Kevin Martin, but is it really wise to pair him with Anthony?  That would possibly be the worst defensive wing duo in basketball.
  • I have no problem trading Aaron Brooks.  As I’ve been saying for some time, he’s one of the most overrated, usage-inflated players in basketball, and it might be best to deal him now before he receives his pay raise.  Aaron Brooks is worth more in trade to the Houston Rockets than the $8million/annually he will command.

More as it comes.






About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of www.Red94.net.

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