Rockets show image of Melo in No. 7


If it wasn't clear before Wednesday that Jeremy Lin's days with the Houston Rockets were numbered, it is now.

In an effort to court Carmelo Anthony, the Rockets posted pictures of Anthony in a No. 7 jersey in the windows near one of the entrances to the Toyota Center.

Anthony wore No. 7 with the New York Knicks, so it makes sense that they'd want to let him know how he'd look in Rockets red. The only problem? Lin currently wears No. 7 in Houston.

Lin responded to the development by tweeting a Bible verse Wednesday morning.

"It's always a challenging situation during free agency," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports outside the Toyota Center. "You are always having to recruit players and there might be current players at current positions, might be people with the current numbers. It's unfortunate that it's often hard to handle.

"Reality is it's standard practice. When we went after Chris Bosh a few years ago, we had him in  (Luis) Scola's number. When we went after Dwight Howard he had  (Patrick) Beverley's number. I get the sensitivity and I hate that it creates some hurt feelings. I don't like that, but that's obviously Carmelo Anthony's number, that's the number he wants. He told us that. Bottom line, if Carmelo comes Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin have to be traded. It's just math. It's not personal. My job is every day figure out how to win. Sometimes it creates challenging situations."

Wednesday's visit in Houston was the second leg of Anthony's free-agent tour after he met with the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday. He met with the Mavericks later Wednesday.

Among the contingent meeting with Anthony at the Toyota Center were Howard and guard James Harden, owner Les Alexander, Morey and coach Kevin McHale. Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler also is there to help with Houston's pitch.

Anthony's meeting in Dallas took place at the mansion of Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban, according to a source, and lasted over two hours. It was attended by Cuban, star forward Dirk Nowitzki, coach Rick Carlisle and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, sources told ESPN.

There was no pomp and circumstances from the Mavericks. Dallas' meat-and-potatoes pitch emphasized the opportunity to contend immediately with an elite coach in Carlisle, a selfless star in Nowitzki and a quality supporting cast featuring high-scoring guard  Monta Ellis and defensive-minded center Tyson Chandler. The Mavericks also focused on the creativity and proven track record of the front office, stressing their plan to sustain a contender throughout Anthony's prime and ability to add at least one more major piece next summer.

Howard told KRIV-TV in Houston that he advised Anthony to take his time to make his decision and whatever team he picks "is going to be the right decision for him." He called Anthony a "great person" who "would be a great guy for our team."

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