Carmelo Anthony is now reportedly willing to accept a trade to the Cavs or the Rockets, but Cleveland has a big advantage

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony’s salary would make a trade with the Rockets problematic. Elsa/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony is now willing to waive his no-trade clause, but only if he is traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers or Houston Rockets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

While both the Rockets and Cavs are now on the clock, it is Cleveland that has a huge advantage.

Wojnarowski reports that the Cavaliers are “a preferred destination” for Anthony because of LeBron James. However, even though he is open to going to Houston, his contract would make that difficult.

Anthony has a 15% “trade kicker,” meaning he would be owed an additional $US8.1 million on top of the $US54.2 million he has remaining on his contract over the next two seasons. That makes a potential trade problematic for the Rockets who are already over the salary cap.

If Melo chooses not to waive any or all of his trade kicker — something he can do to help a trade happen — he will be owed $US34.4 million in 2017-18 and any trade the Rockets make would require them to also give up the same amount in 2017-18 salaries.

It is not an impossible task for the Rockets. They could include players like Ryan Anderson, who has a salary of $US19.6 million, and Eric Gordon, who makes $US12.9 million, and the salaries start to match. But as Tom Penn of ESPN noted, that only works if the Knicks want those players.

Wojnarowski also reported that the Knicks have been “reluctant” to even consider Anderson in a trade as he is owed more than $US60 million over the next three seasons.

The Rockets also do not have a first-round pick in 2018 to offer the Knicks as it was included in the recent trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for Chris Paul.

There is also the issue of Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni who previously coached Anthony with the Knicks for parts of two seasons. D’Antoni eventually resigned midway through 2011-12 season, at least in part, due to a well-publicised butting-of-heads between himself and Anthony.

It would seem that Anthony is now willing to put aside his beef with D’Antoni for a shot at a ring.

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