NBA

Harden says he's focused on jelling with CP3, not potential Melo trade

by 3h ago

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

James Harden isn’t getting ahead of himself after an exciting summer for the Houston Rockets.

Having already added Chris Paul through trade, reports suggest Carmelo Anthony also wants to link up in Houston should the Rockets find an amicable trade agreement with the New York Knicks. Meanwhile, Harden signed the richest deal in NBA history to stay on with the Rockets long term.

For now, however, Harden is simply focused on building chemistry with Paul. The two have been inseparable this summer as they’ve made appearances in rec leagues all over the country, but their latest stop in New York City saw Anthony join them in training, which naturally spawned questions.

Harden says he’s just working with Paul, though.

“I try to block it out and let the front office deal with that,” Harden said of the Anthony-to-Houston rumors, according to Alykhan Bijani of ESPN Houston. “I just focus on getting comfortable with CP3.”

The situation with Anthony remains largely the same. The Knicks want to move on and kick-start a rebuild, and Anthony would embrace another challenge. However, he holds a no-trade clause and has eyes for nowhere else other than Houston. In order to make that trade work, the Rockets would need to send out Ryan Anderson to balance Anthony’s salary. The Knicks reportedly won’t take Anderson’s bad money even if they receive picks, and involving a third or even fourth team to soothe the situation has been difficult. New York also won’t grant Anthony a buyout, so they’re stuck.

Hence, why Harden is just focused on jelling with Paul. Counting on Anthony to sort out his mess with the Knicks is no sure bet.

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