NBA Rumors: Carmelo Anthony believed banana boat team was happening in Houston, and LeBron James would follow the next summer
For the better part of this past summer, the overwhelming opinion suggested that Carmelo Anthony would eventually be traded the Houston Rockets.
Until he wasn’t, and instead found himself being shipped to the opportunistic Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for chump change and Enes Kanter. Now, though, it’s been revealed that Melo really thought he would be a Rocket this season.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, Melo not only believed that he’d be a Rocket but that eventually – probably after the 2017-18 NBA season – so would LeBron James. Thus, making the “banana boat” team come to fruition in Houston.
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"[via ESPN]Anthony, along with most of the rest of the NBA, said in September that he strongly believed he’d be traded to Houston in early July. He’d been talking to friends about teaming up with Chris Paul and, eventually, LeBron James in Houston and how the Rockets could match up with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. He went as far as to detail individual matchups between that hypothetical Rockets team and the Warriors, surmising that he and the Rockets could take out the Warriors."
Had Melo been traded to the Rockets, Dwyane Wade could’ve easily signed with Houston for the league minimum after being bought out by the Chicago Bulls. That would’ve seen 75 percent (Chris Paul, Melo, Dwyane Wade) of the “banana boat” team in a Rockets uniform.
The final 25 percent, of course, being LeBron James. But Melo believed that if he had been traded to Houston, and if they all decided to re-sign, LeBron would eventually follow them the following season, when he hits the unrestricted free agent market.
In the end, of course, Knicks management didn’t trade Melo to the Rockets, and potentially put a fatal blow to the potential “banana boat” team in Houston idea. Which is somewhat disappointing because a team consisting of LeBron James, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade would’ve been an interesting follow.
I mean, I suppose it could still happen. But it’s really unlikely, considering all the cap issues that the Rockets would face by trying to sign LeBron, Melo and Wade in free agency next summer.
This could end up being one of the biggest “what if” moments in NBA history, especially if the Golden State Warriors continue to dominate the NBA for the foreseeable future.