Kevin Martin is good, but he isn't Carmelo Anthony good.

Do The Rockets Have the Assets To Get Anthony?

The more and more Anthony is mentioned as being traded, the more Houston Rockets keep coming up in conversation because of the assets they can offer. But the burning questions is what are these assets?

They don’t have any high picks to give up like the Clippers. They don’t have a Derrick Favors like the Nets. Or a player to replace Carmelo Anthony like Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls or Danilo Gallinari of the New York Knicks. So what do the Rockets have?

(Please remember that all of the following assets would have to be dealt in a package deal)

  1. Kevin Martin. Martin is similar to the Nuggets very own J.R. Smith. He is a dynamic scorer capable of putting up points any given night. He has a career scoring average of 17.4 points and is almost automatic from the free throw line. His game is similar to Richard Hamilton with the way he works the screens, but he is a poor defender – partly due to his rail thin body (6-foot-7, 185 pounds). He also has a very unfriendly salary ($36 million/3 years). That alone makes him less valuable due to the Nuggets who are trying to cut salaries. Nuggets interest: Slim, if Denver is forced to trade Anthony they probably wouldn’t be interested in a player like Martin that is grossly overpaid and would impact the Nuggets more with his salary than with his game.
  2. Aaron Brooks. Brooks gave the Nuggets as well as other teams the idea of how to beat the Lakers – with speed. Brooks averaged 18 points against the Lakers and shot over 42 percent from behind the arc. He followed that by averaging 19.6 points this last season. He also is young, 25, and can still grow in the NBA. The only downside is his size and that doesn’t seem to bother him. Nuggets interest: Slim, The Nuggets have their point guard of the future in Ty Lawson, it would be very odd of them adding another player of similar size to their squad.
  3. Shane Battier. Battier is one of the best teammates/players to have on a team. Due to his team-first attitude that teams love. He is versatile enough to play small forward and power forward and is smart enough to defend the Kobe Bryants in the NBA. He also has an expiring contract that is always tempting to NBA teams. However, Battier game is dropping as his age rises. He is turning 32 in two days and shot below 40 percent from the field. Nuggets interest: Mid, with an expiring contract and with his attitude, Battier would be a somebody that the Nuggets would be interested in.
  4. Jared Jeffries. Jeffries is long and versatile, he is also a great defender who plays the pick and role very well. He has an expiring contract, similar in size to Battier. However, he brings little to nothing on offense. And hinders all teams that he has played for. Nuggets interest: Slim, Denver would be interested in Jeffries due to his defense, but the Nuggets aren’t going to give up their franchise player for a scrub. Maybe for J.R. Smith, but not for Anthony.
  5. Jordan Hill. Hill struggled early in his rookie season, enough though that the Knicks gave up on him and traded him in February to the Rockets. He doubled his scoring average (but still didn’t break double-digits) and did solid enough. However, he only played 47 games and failed to grab double-digits in rebounds in any games. At 23, he still has potential but he has to prove something soon. Nuggets interest: Slim, again the Nuggets would be interested in him – but not for a player of Anthony’s quality. He is worth a gamble, but at a far less price.
  6. Patrick Patterson. Patterson was a beast at Kentucky and did what was asked of him. He could develop into a Carl Landry-type role and has workman like attitude. Patterson left as a junior and is still developing his game. Patterson isn’t overly large (6-9, 235) and doesn’t have the ceiling that other rookies have – but he is steady. Nuggets interest: High, he doesn’t have the potential that Favors has nor the size but Patterson has the attitude and work ethic to have a similar role to David West and Carl Landry in the NBA.
  7. Courtney Lee. Lee is on his third team in three years and it isn’t like he is a bad player. Lee can contribute on offense (12.5 points last season) and is a good enough defender to get thrown on Bryant in the NBA Finals as a ROOKIE. He has also been compared to Hamilton due to his size (6-5, 200) and intelligence. Lee, who is on the verge of being 25, will doubtfully develop into a top scorer in the NBA. Nuggets interest: High, Lee is a similar player to Arron Afflalo and Denver really like Afflalo. However, it is hard to see Denver trading Carmelo Anthony just to get another Afflalo.
  8. Chase Budinger. Budinger is another young player that would peak the Nuggets interest. He is better at the small forward position and is very intelligent basketball player. He is a great shooter, with good ballhandling skills and is very athletic. His game has been compared to Brent Barry. Downfall is he doesn’t have a high ceiling and also is injured. Budinger is more skilled to be a role player instead of a focal point of an offense. Nuggets interest: High, Budinger is young, smart and a good shooter. But he also isn’t worthy of dealing Anthony for.
  9. Draft picks. Outside of owning their own picks, the only pick that may be remotely interesting is the option to switch with the New York Knicks. Without Anthony on their team it would be hard to see the Knicks compete, they might make the playoffs but more as a lower end playoff squad.

So the bottom line is while the Rockets do have assets (Patterson, Budinger, Hill, Lee and expiring contracts). They don’t have any players that has enough potential for the Nuggets to deal Anthony to the Rockets. The closest deal that would have to be built around Martin, Patterson, Budinger and draft picks, but that would be acceptable if the Nuggets wouldn’t have any other options.

Sorry Rockets fans.

Tags: Aaron Brooks Carmelo Anthony Chase Budinger Courtney Lee Denver Nuggets Derrick Favors Houston Rockets Jordan Hill Kevin Martin Los Angeles Clippers New York Knicks Patrick Patterson Shane Battier

  • Rockets Fan

    I am guessing you have no idea how reality works. First, no team will ever going to get back anything remotely close to the value of the star they are letting go. Don’t believe me, check out any blockbuster trade that involves a disgruntled star. There is a real good reason for this; the team has no leverage. If Melo wants to leave, it is in the best interest of the Nuggets to get whatever can from the teams Melo wants. This leads us to the other reasons of why trades don’t bring back things that teams truly want or have great interest in. Lets take a look at Melo and Nuggets situation here:

    - Melo ultimately wants to win and if a team has to gut itself of talent, it will be hard pressed to build up quality depth and talented players again to contend. Chances are, Melo will refuse any team that cannot win or contend after getting him.
    - If Denver plays hard ball, they risk losing Melo for absolutely nothing. There is no way that they will do that. They can trade him to another team, but not many teams are willing to give up a good deal of assets for at most a one year rental.

    Your outlook on Rockets assets are also ludicrous at best. Why are you analyzing this from the point of view that we are trading any of those players straight up for Melo? Does the concepts trade package and matching salaries mean nothing to you? It is not Battier or Jeffries for Melo, nor is it Brooks or Martin for Melo. If anything, it will be a package of Battier, Jeffries, either Brooks or Martin, and picks, all things that the Denver FO are supposedly looking for. It is not about matching Melo’s value to the team, but offering the best compromise trade package for all parties involved.

    Ultimately, Melo will sign the extension and be traded as it is projected to be far more lucrative than whatever he will be able to get with the new CBA once it is in place and the only question is to what team. As it is now, Rockets are the only team that has accumulated enough assets to trade with Denver and STILL contend after the trade.

    • madness

      @RocketsFans, a) when did I say the Nuggets were going to get back the value of Melo? And I agree if Melo wants to leave it is of interest to trade him but do you really think the Rockets can offer as much as the Knicks, Clippers, Nets or even the Bulls?
      b) I wasn’t basing the Rockets players off of a straight up trade for Melo, it would obviously have to be a package. Sorry for the confusion I’ll change that. But for a trade to go down with the Rockets it would have to involve players the Nuggets think they can build off of and the only players that Denver would fits this bill with Houston is Patrick Patterson and Chase Budinger, and neither have as big of a ceiling as Favors or a future top five pick.
      I guess the draft picks might be able to do it… But I doubt it.

  • http://n/a You R. AnIdiot

    First of all your blog is horrible. Secondly you don’t know anything about basketball. You’re looking for the nuggets to trade for one player that is close to the caliber of carmelo…thats idiotic. You have to package a deal together to get carmelo. Your analysis of the rockets players makes it seem like you’re trading away carmelo for just one player. It’ll be a multi-player deal, moron. Anyways the Denver Nuggets are going to be horrible for awhile. Carmelo is not going to give you 100% this year so why even keep him on the team when he doesn’t want to play for your city. It would be smart for a team to trade him away for young players and draft picks but i guess denver’s not smart enough fro that.

    • madness

      Well You R. AnIdiot, when did I say it would only be one player in the deal? I guess it was common sense to assume it would have to be a package deal. And you obviously didn’t read the entire blog and end where I said,
      “The closest deal that would have to be built around Martin, Patterson, Budinger and draft picks, but that would be acceptable if the Nuggets wouldn’t have any other options.”
      And this blog wasn’t about Melo returning it was about the best assets in return for Melo.

  • JR

    Uh RocketsFan, you are aware that the Clippers are willing to part ways with their top 5 pick and the Nets are willing to deal Derrick Favors. Both would help the Nuggets more than what the Rockets can offer.

    • Rockets Fan

      Like I said, it is not about what the Nuggets want and what the other team is willing to give up. It is up to Melo to decide if he still wants to go to that team after hearing what they are giving up. Clippers have been mediocre at best and are hardly contenders. On the Nets, he will be vying for control of the offense with Devin Harris who needs the ball in his hand to be productive. Besides, Favors and picks alone aren’t enough to form trade packages. What else can they give up and will they still be able to contend afterwards is the real question.

      • madness

        It is about what the Nuggets want and what the other team is willing to give up. Because if Melo wants to leave, Denver will be looking for its best interest and not the best interest for Melo.
        If the Clippers are willing to deal that draft pick in order to get Melo (even if it is for one year), Denver would sign off on that deal before any deal involving the Rockets.
        You say Harris needs the ball in his hands to be productive, but so does Billups and so does your boy Brooks. And guess who had the most assists to field goal attempts between the three? Harris. No doubt Anthony would play with the more an unselfish PG. And I hate to tell you this buddy, but Favors and draft picks is more enticing to the Nuggets than the Rockets assets.
        Could Anthony land on the Rockets this season, sure. But it would be a worst case scenario for the Nuggets.

        • rssgvegas

          Madness, I think you’re missing the point that it is all about Melo’s best interest b/c these teams are not going to give anything up without Melo agreeing to an extension. The Clippers will not give up that high pick for 1 year, nor will the Nets give up Favors. That’s why the Rockets are the team popping up in everyone’s conversation. They have the best to offer from teams Melo would sign an extension with. If you think the Nuggets hold the cards here, you’re fooling yourself b/c if they don’t play to what Melo wants, they’ll get nothing and get burned!

          • madness

            I think Rockets fans are forgetting that the Nets and the Clippers were also on this supposed list. And so LA would give up a draft pick and NJ would give up Favors.
            Also I think Rockets fans are forgetting that there is a team in NY that is supposedly Melo’s top option and they can offer a much more talented younger player than the Rockets can. And not to mention they don’t play in the same conference as the Nuggets.
            So, no the Rockets don’t have the best offer.

  • Misslo

    Anyone else noticed how the rumors kinda stopped since Ujiri stepped in and put his cards on the table on his priority trying to keep Melo onboard, and Josh Kroenke officially got angry with all the bs rumors with him being on bad terms/in a fight with Melo and his people?

    My guess is coz pretty much 90% of the rumors was pure BS made up by these so called “journalists” (read: “wankers”) that now got scared of some sort of legal action going against them.. I dunno..

    Anyhow, if Melo´s leaving Denver (read: “good team”) to play for a crap team (read: “Houston”) then I´d like to hear/read it from him to believe it..

    • madness

      It is quiet, I wonder if they are going to wait for Chauncey to come back before discussing with Melo.

  • Tmoney1101

    Y’all can keep Melo, we’re better than the Nuggs without him. Your one or two year window has come and gone.

    • madness

      Um Okay.

  • joe

    Actually I don’t think any team will take Melo on w/o him agreeing to a extension first, and i don’t think he will be willing to sign that extension unless its to a team that will be in contention.

    For him to go to the Nets or Clippers, the lineups will have to be gutted, and thus leaving him on a weak team, which if he is smart he would not be willing to sign that extension.

    Melo won’t be going anywhere soon, I think Denver is going to try to convince him to stay with their play and moving more pieces into place.

  • joe

    Also, its a gamble to keep him, the longer they wait to deal the crappier the deal will be.

    If they are going to move him and have any chance to get a decent package of players for him, now would be the time.

    • madness

      There have been many teams already interested in Melo (Washington, Clippers, Nets and Knicks).
      And actually a deal with the Nets wouldn’t gut the team, an offer of Murphy, Williams and Favors and draft picks would still leave the Nets with their group of core guys (Harris, Morrow and Lopez). Outlaw could switch to PF, where they also have Kris Humphries as a reserve.
      As long as they get something worked out before the season starts it wouldn’t be too much of a gamble. After that, you better hope he stays.

      • lolwut

        what? travis outlaw at PF?

        pardon me while i go laugh in a bag.

        Also, iirc murphy can’t be traded until december.

        • madness

          Outlaw is versatile enough to play PF, and it would be worth it to get Anthony.
          Sorry to disappoint you, but actually Murphy can be traded as early as October. To be exact it is Oct. 11.
          The rule is two months.

          • lolwut

            in any case favors can’t be traded until dec 15th. so either way a Nets trade wouldn’t be happening until 1/3 of the way into the season. I highly doubt the nuggets would accept any other packages not involving one of favors or lopez, and the nets would be out of their mind to trade lopez (as well as taking the incentive away for melo to play there – he wants a dominant big to play next to).

            as for arguing about chicago’s offer of deng…wow, talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Deng’s contract is even worse than martin’s, he’s got injury problems just like martin, and he’s not a winner. not to mention he’s just not an efficient player. Deng’s best season he had a PER of 18.7; martin has had 2 seasons >20 PER and one at 19.2. Please don’t make a fool of yourself and try to compare the two. There’s also the fact that martin is one of the best in the NBA at getting calls, and converts his FTs at a high rate.

            To even mention the knicks and gallinari is extremely laughable. they don’t even have picks to trade; they owe their 2012 1st rounder to Houston as well as giving up the right to swap their 2011 first rounder.

            IMO the top 3 possibilities include the Clippers, the Kings, and the Rockets, all of which can send significant talent, cap relief, and picks in return for melo. NJ is borderline, new york isn’t even in the same arena.

        • madness

          You are again wrong. With the new CBA (established in 2005) rookies can be traded 30 days after they signed their contract (the old rule was Dec. 15). Therefore, Favors can be traded as early as tomorrow.
          And I know Rockets fans don’t want to hear it but actually a deal with the Bulls is more suitable for the Nuggets.
          1) They play in a different conference
          2) Deng has more value to the Nuggets than Martin (nowhere did I say he was a better player). Martin can do one thing and that is score. The Nuggets already have a number of talented scorers and Deng can score, rebound and defend and he would help with his versatility. PER really means nothing in the win-loss column. Not to mention Deng is two years younger than Martin.
          4) The Bulls also have the right to the Bobcats pick (protected in 2012 – not after).
          And NY may not have a pick, but Gallinari is very intriguing and for a deal to get done with the Knicks they either a) be willing to trade Randolph or b) it will have to be a three-way trade.

          • lolwut

            first of all, even though kevin martin is 2 years older than deng, both have been in the league for 6 years. deng is not a piece you can build around. Believe me, i’ve waited for a long time to see if deng could break out and carry the bulls. But he can’t, or only occasionally. Martin’s win shares/48 is consistently higher than Deng’s, and his usage is higher too.

            I’m not sure you can say martin can’t defend. his first two years in the league he was used primarily as a defender in sac-town; the only reason he became such an offense-minded player is because sacramento had no one else that could reliably score. in the same vein, you can argue that the nuggets already have rebounders in nene and martin so deng’s rebounding contribution would be lessened (??? seems like a dumb argument to me either way – the suns had a ton of offensive players and terrible defensive players, and it didn’t stop them from being really good).

            also, if you trade for deng, the only person on the nuggs squad who can reliably create their own shot is billups. seems like a very risky proposition to rely on a 34 year old player.

            i think the logical next step to trading melo is to get rid of billups and starting over with as many draft picks/young talents as possible. trade the oft-injured martin/nene, both of whom are rather overpaid considering their injury history. deng would hinder that as he has 4 years/~50m left on his contract. i am very skeptical of the willingness of the nuggs to take back extra salary for melo.

            That’s not to say the bull’s won’t get melo, I just don’t think deng is a very attractive piece from the nuggets’ perspective.

            as for new york. honestly, budinger has the potential to be just as good as gallinari. budinger’s athletic, can drive/has handles, and is a terrific shooter. those are the same qualities that make gallinari an “intriguing” prospect. the only difference is gallinari got to stat pad on a terrible team last year, whereas houston wanted to try to force trevor ariza to lead the team. I think you’ll see very similar things out of budinger this year if melo isn’t traded to houston. randolph is indeed an interesting prospect, but can the knicks really beat a rockets’ package with just gallinari and randolph? I don’t think so, especially not if houston can involve a 3rd team to take some of denver’s overpaid players in return for say, brooks+ filler, or some other pieces.

            Considering that the knicks stand a good chance of being in the lottery if they don’t acquire melo, i think the knicks picks have enough value that the nuggets would take any serious offer from the rockets over a knicks trade any day.

            also, the same-conference-trade thing is highly overrated. if you’re going to rebuild after trading a superstar, you want to get as much talent and assets back as possible. no questions asked.

          • madness

            Lol, you must really want Melo in Houston.
            I just don’t see it happening, especially with what the Rockets have.
            No doubt Martin is a great player, but if the Nuggets lose Melo he wouldn’t be a guy they would want in return. Not saying it couldn’t happen, but it wouldn’t be Denver’s first choice.
            And Budinger doesn’t have nearly the potential that Gallinari does. Danilo is an underrated defender, skilled shooter and not to mention he held his own against some of the top players in the League. Not to mention that Budinger getting injured makes him not likely a player of interest for the Nuggets.
            Could the Knicks miss the playoffs? Sure, but considering they play in the East and the addition of Randolph and Felton could easily push them into the playoffs (Not so high on Amar’e). So teams are not exactly jumping at the chance for that pick.
            Can a deal for Melo to the Rockets go down? Sure, but just not likely.

          • lolwut

            of course i want melo in houston; he’s a legit superstar despite all the talk about his low scoring efficiency and lackluster defense. but to be fair, after the chris bosh fiasco earlier this summer, i’m not holding my breath. i’m just saying that the rockets are in the mix, not that they’re a lock for melo.

            as to the playoffs argument, i think there’s a pretty good chance. miami, boston, orlando, chicago, and atlanta are almost certainly a lock for playoffs [barring injuries]. the bucks have great young talent and just acquired an incredibly efficient scorer in maggette, so my bet is that they’ll be in. Washington can’t be discounted because of wall and the return of arenas (who i hope won’t pull any stupid stunts again this year, he absolutely killed my fantasy team last year) and the emergence of blatche. That leaves 1 spot open for new york. Sans melo I certainly don’t think they’re head and shoulders above the other teams except toronto and detroit.

  • DaDakota

    Good blog,

    In Houston, some fans are simply desperate for a Superstar, and they think Melo is it.

    Count me in as someone who agrees with you blog for the most part, and that the Nets and Clips have more attractive packages particularly if you are looking to get a player with huge upside.

    Personally, I do not want Melo, I think he is a Faux Superstar, a one trick pony, who is all about himself.

    I would rather the Rockets roll with what they have…good luck trading him…just not to Houston please.


  • Legend

    What Houston fans don’t realize is that Melo really doesn’t care about winning. Look at his supposed list of teams. Further… look at the way he plays. Here are his priorities…

    1. Individual achievements
    2. Living in a Big City
    3. Getting Paid
    4. Playing with Friends (I’m assuming this… seeing how this is the case with the Miami trio)
    5. Winning

    So all of this, he doesn’t want to go somewhere where the team gets gutted…. BS. He if its the soon to be Brooklyn Nets, he will gladly sign the extension and then take his game to the east coast. In two years, he will try to convince the mad Russian to sign Paul.

  • Andrew

    Could you please tell me where you found that Kevin Martin photo? It would be greatly appreciated.


    • madness

      Andrew, I actually took it myself. When he was with the Kings I believe last year when they came to Denver.

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