Carmelo Anthony to ‘Prioritize’ Trade to Rockets Over Cavaliers

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For New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, it’s hard to imagine that landing with either the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers wouldn’t be exceptionally appealing. Even with that said, it seems that Anthony does indeed have a preferred destination at this point. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony has “begun to prioritize a trade to the Rockets,” as opposed to the Cavaliers.

A large portion of what makes this so interesting is that as Wojnarowski points out, Anthony had been willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal which sent him either to the Rockets or Cavaliers originally. Now, though, it seems that Anthony is more interested in heading to Houston in order to play with James Harden and Chris Paul than he is going to Cleveland and joining up with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

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But, as ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Wojnarowski reported, the Knicks have actually paused trade talks at this point with any team. In turn, their hope is to talk with Anthony about “possibly reincorporating him into the organization.” The Knicks want Carmelo to meet with the new front office and Jeff Hornacek, but as the ESPN duo point out, it’s “unlikely” that he’ll respond with eagerness to rejoin the organization.

With Anthony now seeming more and more likely to wind up in Houston, it poses an interesting question about the Cavaliers future. Will the multiple teams who have built star cores and in turn, become more attractive, ultimately push Cleveland from being able to dominate the interest of other elite players?

While the idea of playing with James, Kyrie and even Kevin Love is likely appealing to many, it’s hard to argue that pairing up with a team like the Rockets with Harden and Paul isn’t as appealing, if not more. Or, even the new-look Oklahoma City Thunder with Russell Westbrook and Paul George (if he opts to re-sign) could be another hot landing spot.

Obviously, much of it will come down to money and who can afford which players, but with other teams getting better and the rumors of James possibly leaving for Los Angeles in 2018 free agency, things seem to be changing.

This fact alone is a big reason why Anthony’s decision on which team he’d waive his no-trade clause for is so important. There’s very real reason to believe that Anthony landing with the Cavaliers could be the difference between the franchise keeping James and remaining as a contender, or them losing him next offseason.