NBA free agency hype is in full swing! Can’t get enough of Kevin Love-to-the-Warriors trade scuttlebutt? Then this one is for you – the Rockets are supposedly discussing or have discussed the idea of sending James “No Defense” Harden to New York in a sign-and-trade for Carmelo Anthony.
This would then open the door for the Rockets to make some type of trade to unload Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to have the necessary cap room to make a run at LeBron.
The report comes courtesy of ESPN’s Chris Broussard, who said it on a radio show this morning. Broussard, you may remember, was the one to push the Timberwolves/Warriors trade that has since been shot down. So take it for what it’s worth.
Although this sounds ludicrous, it should be noted that the Knicks are making moves, and attempting to clear cap space (whether or not this is to overpay Melo remains to be seen). Wednesday, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Knicks and Mavericks were making a trade:
New York gets Jose Calderon, Sam Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and Two 2nd Round picks (34 and 51)
Dallas gets Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton
The obvious 1st question: What does this do to New York’s disgusting cap situation? Well, Chandler is due $14.5 million next season, and Felton is on the books for $4.3 (and then he has a player option for $4.5 in 2015-16 which he’ll obviously pick up). So not a ton.
In return, they’ll add Calderon’s lengthy deal (three more years, $22 million), and three cheap contracts of Dalembert ($3.8 mil team option), Ellington ($2.5 million) and Larkin (rookie contract).
There’s some give and take here, obviously – Chandler is the best player in the deal (and tight with Melo), but the Knicks were desperate for picks, which they now may be able to parlay into something in the 1st round. I loved Larkin coming out of Miami, but he could barely get on the court for the Mavs in the postseason (just 10 minutes in the 7-game series against the Spurs)
[Aside: If you want to argue that Calderon is the best player in the deal ... well, there's a reason he's on his fourth team since the end of 2012. So much about him screams serviceable: the 45% from the field, the 4.7 assists per game. The 44% on three-pointers last season was encouraging, though. And he is a tremendous upgrade from Felton, thought I think the same applies to me.]
My knee-jerk reaction to all this? The easiest way for the Knicks to get a draft pick or two was by parting ways with Chandler. The Knicks have nothing else of value after Anthony and Chandler. One could argue maybe Iman Shumpert has some value, but only in some sort of package. And they had to unload Tubby Felton, who was a disaster on and off the court last season. Maybe Calderon is a good fit to run the triangle offense that Derek Fisher will implement?