To make the trade work financially, Anderson agreed to reduce the guaranteed portion of his contract for the coming season to $15.6 million. A career 38 percent 3-point shooter known for stretching well beyond the 3-point line, the 6-foot-10 Anderson fell nearly completely out of Houston's rotation last season, averaging just 8.6 minutes in 11 postseason games. Though Chriss and Knight aren't expected to be in Rockets Head Coach Mike D'Antoni's starting lineup, they will undeniably be reliable contributors in Houston's second unit.
For the Rockets, the 6-10 Chriss provides more athleticism and defensive versatility than Anderson, and can even play some center in small-ball lineups as a different look if Mike D'Antoni so chooses. But what makes the trade the most vexing is the Suns taking on the 30-year-old Anderson's contract - which has two seasons and nearly $42 million left on it. Knight only played 50 games in 2015-16.
The No. 8 overall pick in 2016 has been unable to tap into the potential Phoenix saw when it traded up in the draft to pick him. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Rockets have engaged in a trade deal with the Phoenix Suns. Last season, though, despite posting a strong 38.6 percent from deep, he shot two fewer 3-pointers per game. He averaged a career-high 19.8 points per game in 2013-14 with New Orleans.
Melton, a shooting guard, was the 46th pick in the June draft out of USC. He could provide solid minutes as a backup to Chris Paul, if Knight is recovered from a torn ACL that kept him out in 2017.