It’s safe to say that didn’t work out, at all. Anthony appeared in only ten games for the Rockets, and hasn’t seen the court since November 8 - before the Rockets even faced the Warriors. And on Monday the team officially agreed to trade him, along with cash, to the Chicago Bulls, simply so they can unload his contract.
The Houston Rockets have agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and cash to the Chicago Bulls, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019
The Bulls are just dance partners for the Rockets, and are getting paid to help Houston lower their luxury tax. They have no intention of playing the ten-time All-Star, who has struggled mightily for a few years now.
Carmelo Anthony will not play a game for the Bulls, but it is possible that franchise holds off on waiving him until the trade deadline, league sources tell ESPN. Bulls could include him in a one-for-one trade, but can't aggregate his contract in another deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019
But the Rockets aren’t just doing subtraction. They’re also adding the recently waived Kenneth Faried, to help fill the hole at center that was left by an injury to Clint Capela.
Sources: Faried plans to sign a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Houston Rockets when he clears waivers from Nets buyout. https://t.co/Jcenj8C46W— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 19, 2019
While moving Anthony will allow the Rockets to add Faried with lessened fiscal repercussions, the move didn’t actually open up the roster spot Houston needed. Because Monday was a holiday, the trade was not able to go through.
In order for Faried to play in Monday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Rockets had to clear a roster space by waiving James Nunnally, who was on a ten-day contract. That’s a rather cruel oddity in the rules.
Tough ending for James Nunnally with the Rockets, who lost his 10-day contract because the NBA's organizations, coaches and players were working on MLK Day --- and the league office was closed. Rockets needed Faried on court tonight, so Nunnally had to go to create roster spot.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019
None of these moves particularly impact the Warriors, but they’re certainly fodder for fans of the defending champs. The Rockets seemed to be under the impression that signing Anthony would help them against Golden State, yet he got benched for an undrafted rookie (Gary Clark), and traded so they could sign a player who couldn’t find minutes with the Brooklyn Nets (Faried). I don’t advocate finding joy in a player struggling, but I do advocate finding joy in a wildly misled front office. It’s a bit delicious, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Of course, the story isn’t over. The Bulls don’t intend to play Anthony, but if they can’t trade him ahead of the February 7 deadline, they’ll certainly waive him. And, just as happened in Oklahoma City and Houston, a playoff team may sign the former scoring champ in hopes that he’ll recapture some of that old magic.
Sources: The Lakers maintain interest in Anthony, but do not want to waive a guaranteed player to create a roster spot for him, league sources tell ESPN. If a roster spot eventually opens with LA, yes, the Lakers are a possible destination for Anthony.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019
I hope that happens, just to see the reaction from Warriors fans.