Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Houston Rockets have increased their level of involvement in trade talks with the Denver Nuggets to discuss forward Carmelo Anthony. Recently, it became known that the Nuggets would listen to offers from potential trade partners.
Feigen notes that in order to acquire Anthony, the Rockets would likely part ways with guard Kevin Martin, as the Nuggets are asking for a “’top player, draft picks and cap relief.”
The Rockets could use the trade exception acquired in the Trevor Ariza trade last week to provide the cap relief, but would not be able to offer the prospects taking at the top of the draft that the New Jersey Nets, considered the favorites to land Anthony, could offer. Any deal with the Rockets would likely have to include Kevin Martin in order to make the money work in a trade between teams over the salary cap.
As a semi-devoted stathead, I’m in the crop that believes Martin fits better with the Rockets than Anthony might. Though Anthony has the star power that the Rockets have been craving ever since Tracy McGrady lost his mojo and Yao became the world’s largest question mark, many believe that Melo fills the box score too inefficiently. Then again, if Rockets GM Daryl Morey believes that acquiring Anthony is the right move, perhaps I’m missing something.
We’ll see how it plays out, but don’t get your hopes up too high just yet. New Jersey is the clear favorite to land Anthony, and if the Los Angeles Clippers decide to join the mix (they’ve got quite a bit of assets themselves, so long as Anthony would agree to play for eternally-hated owner Donald Sterling), this could be a tough contest for the Rockets to win.