The free agency fun continues in the NBA. Ian Begley of ESPN wrote that the Rockets are exploring a trade offer for the Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. The Rockets were already rumored to make a run at Anthony if he were to secure a buyout with the team, but the Rockets would make even bigger news if they made a trade.

It sounds like management does not want to buyout Anthony. It was rumored to be one of the reasons why ex-president, Phil Jackson, and owner James Dolan decided to part ways. A trade for the 33-year old would require a package of sorts, but what will the Rockets have to give up?

A depleted draft future vs championship

The Rockets already gave up a protected top three pick to the Clippers that brought in Paul. They also gave up parts of their bench in Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, and cash considerations.

The Rockets were looking at resigning Nene, a 34-year old veteran big man, but an age exception halted the deal. Nene is reported to re-sign with the team, so he would be added to a roster that would have Paul, James Harden, Eric Gordon, and Trevor Ariza.

A trade for Anthony would most likely cost the Rockets a package similar to what the Nets gave up for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry. The Celtics received practically four first round picks and some expiring contracts. The Rockets don't have a lot of young talent to give up, so it would require at least two if not three first round picks for the Knicks to give up Anthony. Plus, the Rockets have an extra second round pick in the draft in 2018 that they could use as well.

The only way that this will happen is if the Rockets convince the Knicks to take Ryan Anderson and his $18 million salary. The Rockets already have Harden's salary of $28 million and Paul's salary of $22 million. Anthony is due $26 million, so it would be the equivalent of signing a player to an $8 million deal, but you have to remember that the Rockets also have to fill the rest of the roster with players after dealing half their bench for Paul.

It would be a huge gamble

Anthony has been rumored to take less money to sign with the Cavaliers if he were to secure a buyout, but if the Rockets can make a trade to win now, then they should go for it. The Rockets have not won a championship since 1995. They have won just one division title since that same year. Jimmy Butler and Paul George are moving from the eastern conference to the west. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are staying with the Warriors. The Spurs are always a tough team to beat, and Kawhi Leonard is not retiring anytime soon.

The trade would risk the Rockets of being a team like the Nets when the contracts of Paul, Anthony, and Harden run out.

However, if a championship comes to Houston, no one is going to say anything during those rebuilding years. However, that's what Nets fans said too when Garnett and Pierce came to Brooklyn.

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