Instead of a three-team trade, the Houston Rockets added another team into the mix as they attempt to get forward Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks. Earlier, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com said there's still nothing "imminent" about the rumored four-team trade but Stefan Bondy and Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported later in the day that negotiations are "at the two yard line." However, the names of the third and fourth teams were not mentioned.

The Rockets are trying to acquire Anthony from the Knicks to form their own Big 3 with MVP runner-up James Harden and veteran point guard Chris Paul.

The Rockets are $15.3 million above the salary cap so they are finding a player with a contract close to Anthony’s $26.2 million salary next season. According to ESPN, the Knicks need a third team to take on Anderson’s contract while the fourth team will receive a player “neither the Knicks nor Rockets would accept.”

Third and fourth teams necessary to complete trade

The Rockets first offered Ryan Anderson and his three-year, $61-million deal but the Knicks turned it down. Anderson will be a great asset for the Knicks but his game is similar to their top big man Kristaps Porzingis, who can shoot from the outside as well.

Adding a third and fourth team into the mix is necessary as the Rockets already lack tradable pieces that they can send to the Knicks for Anthony.

The Rockets earlier shipped Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker and a top-3 protected 2018 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for the 32-year-old Paul. Earlier, Anthony declared that he’s willing to give up his no-trade clause if he’s shipped to the Rockets or the Cleveland Cavaliers.

If he is traded to the Rockets, Anthony’s dream of playing with Paul will be fulfilled.

Rockets want to add more star power

In an ESPN interview, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed his desire to add more star power to the team. "Get more USA Basketball team members," he said. The Rockets already locked Harden to a four-year contract extension worth $170 million that will bring his earnings to $228 million when his contract expires after the 2022-23 season.

The Rockets also boosted their defense by signing free agent forward P.J. Tucker to a four-year, $32 million contract. A 35th overall pick by Toronto in the 2006 NBA Draft, he played one year with the Raptors before spending five years playing in Israel, Germany, Ukraine, Greece, Italy and Puerto Rico. Tucker returned to the NBA in 2012 with the Phoenix Suns, where he played until last season before he was traded to the Raptors for Jared Sullinger.

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