Pelicans May Help Facilitate Carmelo Anthony Trade

Earlier today, we told you the Rockets and Knicks were looking for a fourth team to help finalize a trade involving Carmelo Anthony. The Pelicans have expressed interest in becoming that fourth team, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.

It’s not clear whether New Orleans would take on the three years and more than $61MM left on Ryan Anderson‘s contract or if he would go to another team. Anderson spent four years with the Pelicans franchise before signing with Houston last summer. The Rockets need to move his salary to make room for Anthony, while the Knicks have no need for Anderson because he plays the same position as Kristaps Porzingis and he goes against their new philosophy of avoiding older players on long-term deals.

Representatives for Anthony would like to see the deal get done this week, Berman adds. Houston has scheduled a press conference for Friday to officially welcome Chris Paul, but Berman sees little chance that the trade will be complete in time for Anthony to make a surprise appearance. Multiple sources tell Berman that no deal will happen until “well after” Friday. He states that the sides are getting closer to an agreement and are still “motivated,” but much work still remains. A proposed three-team trade reportedly “stalled” over the weekend, forcing the Rockets and Knicks to start the process over.

Sources tell Berman that Knicks acting president Steve Mills is so focused on the Anthony negotiations that it has prevented the team from finding a veteran point guard. There is speculation that New York may try to fill the position through the Anthony deal.

Houston’s first attempts to acquire Anthony were unsuccessful, Berman adds, because the Knicks were restructuring their front office after former president Phil Jackson was fired. However, owner James Dolan has now signed off on moving Anthony and plans to make Mills the new team president.

Insiders tell Berman that Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni initially wasn’t on board with acquiring Anthony because of their past differences in New York. However, with Paul, James Harden and Nene all pushing for the move, D’Antoni has been left with no choice.

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