Melo on Harden: 'Houston does it again'

Just like most other NBA observers, Carmelo Anthony was caught off guard when news of the James Harden trade broke late Saturday night.

"It happened real quick. I think it was kind of unexpected," he said after Knicks practice on Sunday.

The trade sending Harden from Oklahoma City to Houston for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and draft picks sent a shock through the NBA. It didn't have a direct impact on the Knicks, as both Houston and Oklahoma City reside in the Western Conference, but that doesn't mean the players weren't paying attention.

"Houston does it again," Anthony said with a laugh, a reference to the Rockets' unmatched 3-year, $25.1 million offer to Jeremy Lin. "They do it again, man. It's just sad to see that trio over there in OKC break up, especially for me to be with them this offseason (during the London Olympics) spending time with them, to know how close knit they were. To see one of them gone was kind of a sad story."

Oklahoma City traded Harden to Houston once it determined it could not sign the star sixth man to an extension. The Thunder offered Harden $55.5 million over four years -- $4.5 million less than the max deal Harden coveted and will get from the Rockets, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard.

"This is a business," said Anthony, who is close with Thunder star Kevin Durant. Anthony said on Sunday that he hadn't spoken to Durant about the deal yet.

"Harden was (Durant's) guy," he said. "Harden was part of the whole swag movement, and he got them excited over there coming off the bench. So we'll see what happens."

Anthony added that Harden could help take some pressure off of Lin in Houston. Over the summer, Anthony called Houston's offer to Lin 'ridiculous' because of the amount of money ($14.8 million) in the third season.

Lin, the former Knick, was expected to be the face of the Rockets this season. But that role should now belong to Harden, whom Houston is expected to sign to a maximum four or five-year extension.

"James is a flat-out shooter. He can definitely shoot the ball, he can play the one, two and three, and relieve some of that pressure off of Jeremy over there," Anthony said. "So we'll see what happens with that."

Added Tyson Chandler: "The league is shaking up. Things are changing, players are moving. It's exciting. (It) brings more excitement across the board to other teams."

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