Here's why Carmelo Anthony didn't get traded to Rockets, Cavaliers or Trail Blazers

Just a few days before the New York Knicks were set to begin training camp, the Carmelo Anthony trade saga finally came to a close. The Oklahoma City Thunder got involved at the last minute, reportedly acquiring  Anthony in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick. 

Over the past weeks and months, the reports had focused on the Houston Rockets -- who initially were the only team Anthony was willing to waive his no-trade clause for -- along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers. In the end, of course, none of these three teams were able to complete a deal. 

And now that the deal is complete, we know why, thanks to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski. 

For the Rockets, they were willing to part with Ryan Anderson and his $20M per year contract. However, the Knicks were trying to get Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza. When neither side was willing to budge on their demands, the deal fell through. Via ESPN:

New York had been willing to do an Anthony deal with his preferred choice, Houston, that included Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza, but the Rockets consistently rejected that idea, league sources said. Houston had become the focus of Anthony's trade request after the Rockets acquired All-Star guard Chris Paul, a close friend, in late June. But Houston needed a deal to include forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years and $60 million left on his contract.

In regards to the Cavaliers, they were understandably unwilling to part with the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first-round pick they received from the Boston Celtics. Instead, their package centered around Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye, which is not exactly super intriguing. 

Cleveland's package included Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye, and would've needed to be supplemented with minimum veterans, league sources said. Cleveland would never have considered including its 2018 first-round pick via Brooklyn, league sources said. New York had been pursuing a future first-round pick from Oklahoma City, but the Thunder were unable to acquire one as part of a larger deal for New York, according to league sources.

Finally, as for the Portland Trail Blazers, they apparently never had a chance as Anthony was not interested in playing out in Portland.

Once Anthony expanded his list of teams to include Cleveland and Oklahoma City within the past 10 days, Perry had more flexibility to move Anthony. Perry remained in contact with Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, who had the most versatile array of assets for New York and motivation to make the deal -- but, ultimately, Anthony would not accept a trade to the Pacific Northwest.

Anthony was intrigued with a potential partnership with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, and the stability and track record of the front office and coaching staff in Portland, but did not want to make such a dramatic geographic shift, league sources said.

It's always pretty fascinating to hear in the aftermath why potential deals ended up falling through. As these reports show, it's a lot harder than people might think to actually get a deal done. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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