ESPN reports that Carmelo Anthony is confident that a deal that will send him to the Houston Rockets will ultimately get done. Earlier this month, it was reported that Anthony was willing to waive his no-trade clause to get traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers or Houston Rockets. Now, Anthony's future seems to be clearer. The Rockets appear to be the front-runners to acquire him. After having gotten Chris Paul and re-signing James Harden to a record contract, their eyes are now set on Anthony. The New York Knicks would prefer to trade him.

Rockets want their own big three

The Rockets have been more aggressive than the Cavaliers in their attempts to look for scenarios that could make such a deal with the Knicks happen. They might need a third team in the deal, for the Knicks do not look interested in taking Ryan Anderson's contract. On the other hand, the Cavaliers, yet again, are growing skeptical about their willingness to trade Love in this deal. It looks like the Cavaliers are willing to take their chances and wait for Anthony to be bought out''

Ben DuBose tweeted the following: "Kenny Smith on the #RocketsSummer broadcast, when asked about 'reports' of Carmelo wanting Houston: 'They aren't reports. He IS interested.' "

Nene Hilario was an important factor off the bench for the Rockets last season.

He has re-signed this off-season and, apparently, is already recruiting his former teammate Anthony. Nene posted an Instagram photo of Carmelo wearing the Rockets' jersey and a caption that read, "He will look great in this uniform and I can't wait to get back an old time like in Denver with him ... did u guys remember?" Maybe Nene already knows something that the rest of us do not know.

Nene removed the post later.

Carmelo needs to leave, NY to move on

Carmelo is the last big fish left in the NBA market this off-season. It would good for the league to have Anthony with a contender. Our hopes of seeing a dominant Anthony during this last decade have vanished, but we might finally see his extraordinary talents utilized for a greater good - competing for an NBA championship.

The Rockets would be in a strong position to at least force the Warriors to sweat in the Western Conference. Anthony, 33, would not have to handle the ball as much. Paul and Harden would carry the heavy load and let Anthony spot up for three-pointers or mid-range jump shots all day long.

The Knicks recently signed Tim Hardaway Jr. for four-years and $71 million. Two years later, the streaky shooter returns to New York and lands a big contract. However, will he play alongside Anthony? ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that "the Knicks do not imagine a scenario where [Tim] Hardaway [Jr.] is sharing the floor with Anthony to start the season."

Anthony and D'Antoni dynamic

One remaining concern will be Anthony's willingness to make amends with coach Mike D'Antoni and buy into his system.

The two did not fair well back when they were together with the Knicks. In a feature with ESPN The Magazine a couple of months ago, D'Antoni went on to clearly state that he had to quit in New York after he has put in a position where the Knicks' front office had to choose between him and Anthony. It looks like there is a big chance that their paths cross in the NBA once again. We will have to wait and see if a trade or buyout does end up taking Anthony to Houston. Only then will we be able to know how lucky can D'Antoni be with a big three of Harden, Paul, and Anthony.