Former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy said it is a big mistake for Houston to pursue a trade for Carmelo Anthony, claiming the All-Star will not be a natural fit for the Rockets. In an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, Van Gundy said the Rockets are now better equipped to win in the playoffs with Chris Paul in their fold.

Van Gundy expressed apprehension about the addition of Anthony to the Rockets, saying “I don’t necessarily see it as a natural fit," he added, “I’m interested to see if it happens and who’s involved if it does happen. I don’t necessarily see the fit,” Van Gundy coached the Knicks from 1996 to 2001 and the Rockets from 2003 to 2007.

Van Gundy noted that Anthony will be an upgrade defensively for the Rockets compared to veteran forward Ryan Anderson, who struggled to defend pick-and-rolls last season. The Rockets’ weakness on defense showed during their Western Conference Semifinal loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The Rockets earlier offered Anderson for Anthony but the Knicks turned it down due to the forward’s remaining $61 million on his contract with Houston.

Negotiations halted after Knicks hired new GM

The Rockets were working on a four-team trade that would give them Anthony. Negotiations came to a halt after the Knicks hired Scott Perry as their new general manager. Berman reported that the Knicks wanted to give acting team president Steve Mills time to meet with Anthony and get his view on the matter before proceeding with their next move.

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Berman added that the Knicks also want him to expand his trade his wish list beyond the Rockets and the Cavaliers. Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, giving him power to veto a trade to a team that he doesn’t prefer.

Blazers also eyeing Anthony

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Portland Trail Blazers are trying to convince Anthony to put them on his list of trade candidates, in addition to the Rockets and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wojnarowski reported that the Blazers plan to work out a trade for Anthony if they include him on his preferred list of destinations.

A league source told Wojnarowski that the Blazers are convinced they can compete with other Western Conference teams in terms of talent if they acquire Anthony. Earlier, Anthony expressed hope that the Knicks will resume negotiations with the Rockets. With the Rockets, Anthony will be given a chance to play with close friend Paul and last year’s MVP runner-up James Harden.