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Rockets trading Carmelo Anthony to Chicago, but Bulls have no plans to play him

/ 10:43 AM January 22, 2019
Carmelo anthony NBA

File- This Nov. 2, 2018, file photo shows Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony reacting during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New York. A person with knowledge of the situation says the Houston Rockets are trading Carmelo Anthony and an undisclosed amount of cash to the Chicago Bulls, in a deal that is expected to be completed Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. Anthony will not wind up playing for the Bulls, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because nothing can be finalized until the league office approves the deal. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

MILWAUKEE— Carmelo Anthony is going to Chicago, albeit only on paper.

Where he’s going next remains unclear.

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A person with direct knowledge of the matter said the Houston Rockets are trading Anthony and an undisclosed amount of cash to the Bulls in a deal that is expected to be completed Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the trade still needs league approval.

When that comes — the only reason why it didn’t happen Monday is because the NBA office was closed to commemorate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday — Anthony will have a new team, though still won’t be back on the floor. The Bulls have no plans to play Anthony and will look to either trade him before the Feb. 7 deadline or ultimately waive him and make him a free agent.

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The trade ends a short-lived saga in Houston for Anthony, who averaged 13.4 points in 10 games with the Rockets. He has not played since Nov. 8.

Anthony was traded by Oklahoma City to Atlanta in July, a move that preceded the Hawks releasing him to sign with the Rockets. The Bulls, technically, will be Anthony’s fourth franchise in seven months, with likely one more to come before long.

“We just had to see how things worked out,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said in November when the team said it was parting ways with Anthony. “And the way we play probably wasn’t conducive to his game, and he was trying to make the necessary sacrifices and it wasn’t fair to him as a Hall of Fame player to play in a way that wasn’t good for him, wasn’t good for us. It just wasn’t a fit.”

Anthony is a 10-time All-Star who has averaged 24.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in his career. He was the No. 3 pick in the star-studded 2003 draft class that also included No. 1 LeBron James, No. 4 Chris Bosh and No. 5 Dwyane Wade.

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