Odds Favor Carmelo Anthony Playing for Team Other Than Rockets

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 3:26 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017 3:26 PM UTC

There remain two big questions to be answered this NBA offseason: Where will Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony play in 2017-18? Their futures could be intertwined. Let’s examine odds on Melo’s team.

Everyone with a pulse knows that New York Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony wants to join good buddies Chris Paul and James Harden to form a potential “superteam” on the Houston Rockets and give the Golden State Warriors a run for their money in the Western Conference. Should that happen, Houston would be an atrocious defensive team because Anthony and Harden don’t play defense, but the Rockets would sure be fun to watch offensively.

5Dimes offers an NBA prop on where Anthony is playing next season. That it’s with Houston is a surprising +105 underdog with any other team at -145 on NBA odds.

Anthony controls the narrative here because he has a full no-trade clause. He first wanted to go join another good pal, LeBron James, with the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, now that Kyrie Irving has asked for a trade, Anthony doesn’t want to play with the Cavs and potentially be stuck there after next season if LeBron leaves again.

The Knicks would trade Anthony to Cleveland for Irving in a second. It doesn’t work as a straight-up deal as Anthony’s tax number is $26,243,760 and Irving’s is $18,868,626 for next season. The Cavs could simply throw in someone they don’t want, like Channing Frye – whose number is $7,420,912. Then the trade works.

There’s no chance Cleveland does that deal because Anthony is 33 and well past his prime. He played 74 games last year and averaged 22.4 points while shooting just 43.3 percent from the floor, his worst since 2004-05. Irving is only 25 and averaged 25.2 points and 5.8 assists in 2016-17. He’s a dynamic offensive creator.

The Knicks are taking their sweet time on Anthony after firing team president Phil Jackson this offseason and remaking their front office. Jackson had said after the Knicks’ 31-win 2016-17 campaign season that New York would be better off if Anthony accepted a trade. New team president Steve Mills has admitted the Knicks would be open to trading Anthony if they found a scenario that worked for both club and player. It’s possible that Melo is still a Knick when the 2017-18 season starts, although that’s unlikely.

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The Rockets want Anthony but have little to offer after draining their roster to trade for Paul. A deal of Anthony for Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza works, but the Knicks have no use for the overpaid Anderson. They want to get young talent. Thus Houston would have to get a third team involved.

New Orleans Pelicans star DeMarcus Cousins has been pushing for his team to make an Anthony trade, but, New Orleans has little to offer. Portland’s Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum also have been attempting to get Anthony to waive his no-trade clause to head to the Pacific Northwest.

It could be that the Cavs will have to make their decision on Irving before any Anthony trade is completed. That Irving’s next game is with Cleveland is a -150 favorite and any other team +110. I still think Houston lands Melo with the help of another club. Rockets GM Daryl Morey generally gets a player he wants. 

NBA Free Pick: Anthony To Rockets (+105)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
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