While James Harden won’t pressure the Houston Rockets to acquire Carmelo Anthony, he did give the New York Knicks forward a ringing endorsement.
Amid trade rumors that Melo could be Houston bound, Harden heaped praise on the 10-time All-Star and made it crystal clear he’d love to have him aboard.
Anthony is “one of the best players that we have in this league,” Harden told ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss on Friday, later adding: “If we can get him, obviously he would help our team tremendously.”
The All-NBA guard insisted any transaction would be out of his hands and solely up to the front office, which recently bestowed on him the most lucrative contract extension in league history.
That said, Harden reportedly tried to pitch Melo on Houston last month while the two were in Paris for Fashion Week. The 33-year-old has one guaranteed year worth $26.2 million remaining on his contract, as well as a no-trade clause that he could be open to waiving in order to latch on with either the Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Beard noted his team is already “pretty good” after adding Melo’s Banana Boat buddy Chris Paul. In fact, he thinks they’re one step closer to matching the talent boasted by the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
“I think the Warriors set a standard, and I think everybody’s trying to get to that standard and compete with them,” he said.
The addition of Anthony would only bring the Rockets closer, in theory, though some people – including Jeff Van Gundy – question his fit on the offensively stacked roster. Propelled by the No. 2 offense, Houston finished with the third-best record in the NBA in 2016-17.
For now, trade discussions have reportedly stalled, as new Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry may want to keep the hometown hero around.
Anthony registered 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per outing last season for the Knicks.