Rockets officially trade Carmelo Anthony to Chicago, where he will not play

Jason Owens
·3 min read
The Rockets have reportedly sent Carmelo Anthony and cash to the Chicago Bulls. (Getty)
The Rockets have reportedly sent Carmelo Anthony and cash to the Chicago Bulls. (Getty)

After a day of waiting for the league office to open and some question about the other names involved, the Houston Rockets officially traded Carmelo Anthony to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

The Rockets sent the draft rights to Jon Diebler and $1.57 million in cash along with Anthony to the Bulls for the rights to Tadija Dragićević, who has been traded three times since being selected 53rd overall by the Utah Jazz in 2008. He has never played in the NBA and at 32 years old likely never will.

Bulls reportedly intend to waive Anthony

Anthony will not play for the Bulls, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. The Bulls instead intend to waive him or trade him, which could keep him on the roster until the Feb. 7 deadline. In the event Chicago cannot find a one-for-one trade partner for Anthony, who now cannot be included as part of a larger deal due to league rules, he could clear waivers and sign with the team of his choice on Feb. 9.

According to Wojnarowski, the Lakers maintain interest in signing Anthony, but will not do so unless a roster spot clears up. Anthony and LeBron James have been close friends throughout their careers.

Anthony signed with the Rockets in the offseason, but played in only 10 games for Houston, which proved to be a bad fit for the aging veteran.

“We tried to hit a home run, and it didn’t work out,” Mike D’Antoni told reporters in November.

Rockets needed roster space for Kenneth Faried

With Rockets center Clint Capela out several weeks with a thumb injury, the Rockets had hoped to clear a roster spot for Kenneth Faried, who recently agreed to a buyout with the Brooklyn Nets. However, because the league office was closed for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the trade could not be executed until Tuesday afternoon, forcing the Rockets to waive forward James Nunally in order to sign Faried in time for Monday’s matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Faried scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds over 23 minutes of work in a 28-point loss.

Housekeeping of the Melo trade drama

Complications over whose draft rights could be included in the deal also delayed the trade.

Tadija Dragićević is now the correct answer to the trivia question.

For his part, Nunnally is now free to sign another 10-day contract with the Rockets or any other team looking for a sharpshooting wing. D’Antoni expressed frustration that he was cut as part of the ordeal.

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