Sports

Carmelo Anthony gets star treatment from Rockets

All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony visits Houston on free-agent tour
Lionel Hollins replaces Jason Kidd, who went to Milwaukee after one season in Brooklyn

Prized free agent Carmelo Anthony visited the Houston Rockets and was greeted with images of him in two different uniforms of the franchise.

A day after visiting the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks' star continued his tour in Houston. A video board outside the Toyota Center depicted one image of Anthony in Houston's white uniform with red lettering and another in a retro red and yellow uniform. Between the pictures was Anthony's logo with the word "Melo" in it.

He was wearing his No. 7 in both renderings, despite the fact that current Rocket Jeremy Lin wears that number. The Rockets probably would have to unload the point guard to snag Anthony.

Houston got the biggest prize in free agency last offseason when it signed Dwight Howard away from the Lakers, with designs on making a deep run in the playoffs this year. But the Rockets were bounced from the postseason in the first round just as they were the year before. So they started looking for more upgrades to the roster.

They made the first move to free up money for adding players by agreeing to a trade that will send center Omer Asik and cash considerations to the New Orleans Pelicans for a protected future first-round draft pick.

Lin is set to make more than $8 million next season in the final year of a three-year contract. That's a steep price for a backup after he was relegated to the bench last season because of solid play by Patrick Beverley and started just 33 games.

The 30-year-old Anthony would add another proven score to a team that features Howard and James Harden. Anthony averaged 25.2 points last season with the Knicks, which was second in the NBA to Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant. Harden was fifth in the league with a 24.3 average, but the team struggled in its playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, who focused on shutting him down.

Anthony is expected to meet with the Dallas Mavericks and the Lakers before sitting down with the Knicks.

The Rockets would not provide details about Anthony's meeting Wednesday.

Welcome to Milwaukee

Jason Kidd, who led Brooklyn to a 44-38 record and the second round of the playoffs in his lone season as coach, was formally introduced Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, and said there were no hard feelings over his abrupt and surprising departure from Brooklyn.

Kidd dismissed the suggestion that he left after being turned down in seeking control of the Nets' basketball operations department. And he said he had no plans to seek a similar role in Milwaukee, where GM John Hammond is under contract through the 2015-16 season.

"They are not true," Kidd said. "It's not about power. You guys ran with that. It's not about power. As I was introduced, I'm the coach."

Brooklyn agreed Monday to deal Kidd to Milwaukee for second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. The Bucks fired Larry Drew, who had no indication he wouldn't be back for a second season. The whole affair was messy and played out in the media for days before the deal was announced, overshadowing the positive buzz surrounding the Bucks' selection of Duke star Jabari Parker with the No. 2 overall draft pick.

Etc.

Gordon Hayward, Utah's restricted free-agent small forward, has scheduled a meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have turned their sights to improving their roster after getting All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to agree to a contract extension. Hayward, 24, averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds last season, his fourth with Utah. ... The Orlando Magic continue to clear roster spots and have parted ways with another reserve from last year's team by waiving guard Ronnie Price. The Magic waived guards Jameer Nelson and Doron Lamb on Monday. They also claimed guard Willie Green off waivers.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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