The Houston Rockets are looking to make a big splash for the third consecutive offseason after landing guard James Harden in 2012 and center Dwight Howard in 2013.
They are expected to pursue both Miami Heat forward LeBron James and New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony. Anthony is willing to listen to what the Rockets have to say for one big reason.
According to Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News, Anthony is only meeting with the Rockets because of head coach Kevin McHale.
The Rockets are also in the Anthony sweepstakes because they cleared money by trading Omir Asik — with his near-$15 million for next season — to New Orleans on the eve of the draft and didn’t take back any salary. But they’ll still need to move Jeremy Lin, who is also due around $15 mil next season, to have the ability to get far enough under the cap to entice Anthony to a place no one really expects him to go to.
The Rockets are letting it be known that they’ll be able to move Lin lickety-split if Anthony commits, but they might not ever get to that stage.
“The only reason Carmelo will go to Houston to listen (to the Rockets) is because of Kevin McHale,” one source said. “If the coach wasn’t a top-50, all-time player or was a lesser-name coach, then Melo wouldn’t even visit there. But he’ll listen because it’s Kevin McHale.”
Anthony put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line last season.