NEW YORK – The New York Knicks and Houston Rockets are still trying to work out a deal involving Carmelo Anthony, though it may take some time — if it happens.
The teams continue to talk about a trade but no deal is imminent, said a person familiar with the situation. The person said Anthony has told the Knicks he would accept a move to the Rockets but the teams are still trying to find a trade that works for both sides. The person spoke to AP on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the talks between the teams remain private.
Anthony has a no-trade clause and would have to agree to any deal. He has told the Knicks he would waive it to go to Houston or Cleveland.
The Knicks have been trying to trade the All-Star forward but finding a deal is difficult. Anthony is 33 and still has two years and $54 million remaining on his contract, and teams have been hesitant to engage New York on talks knowing Anthony could block a deal.
He had long maintained he wanted to remain in New York, but Houston became attractive to him after acquiring his close friend Chris Paul from the Clippers in a trade. The Rockets are scheduled to introduce Paul at a news conference on Friday.
ESPN reported that the teams have expanded talks to include a third or even a fourth team. The Knicks are looking to rebuild around young players and aren’t interested in taking back long-term contracts such as Ryan Anderson’s, who has more money and years left on his deal than Anthony.
A trade would reunite Anthony with Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who re-signed as Knicks coach in March 2012 in part over his frustration with Anthony’s unwillingness to embrace his offense. But the Rockets have two elite distributors in Paul and James Harden, who led the league in assists last season, and Anthony can possibly settle into the spot-up shooter role he’s played in the Olympics, where he’s won a record three gold medals and is the career scoring leader for the U.S. men.
General manager Steve Mills is trying to close the deal for the Knicks after Phil Jackson and the team parted ways late last month. Jackson wanted to trade Anthony and the team remains motivated to move on from Anthony even after Jackson’s departure.
Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season in 74 contests with the Knicks.