It looks like Carmelo Anthony’s day with the New York Knicks could be numbered.
Anthony is set to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. One team that is expected to heavily pursue Anthony is the Houston Rockets.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, the Rockets are going to have to deal off some of their best assets, as well as Lin and Asik if they want to land Anthony.
The belief is that Houston would gladly shed the expiring contracts of both Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin in order to clear the cap space to get Carmelo. The wrinkle with both is how their deals are structured. Both were acquired using the CBA’s poison pill provision, which allowed the Rockets to offer massively back loaded years in order to pry them away from their respective teams. Both players have a cap value of $9.374 million next season, but are owed more than $15 million in actual cash payments. Moving that kind of money in the NBA is not easy, especially if you can’t take any of it back in trade.
This is where Houston’s draft pick this year and current roster assets like Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones are going to play a role.
Last year the Golden State Warriors needed to offload a similar amount of contracts and found a partner in the Utah Jazz, who extracted two future first round picks and three second round picks for eating Golden State’s bad money.
Anthony put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line.