The Houston Rockets have prepared Dwight Howard and James Harden to recruit Carmelo Anthony as their third star to become title contenders.

The Rockets will need to unload the expiring contracts of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin to clear most of the space required to sign Anthony.

Those two players could potentially appeal to the Knicks in sign-and-trade scenarios.

The Knicks have told teams that they do not want to take on contracts that last beyond the summer of 2015, though Asik could be a player they ultimately want to sign long-term.

The Rockets have the flexibility to sell Anthony on a full-max contract in the range of $22 million-$23 million per year, or can offer him the chance to keep teammates like Chandler Parsons, Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones on the roster by accepting less money on the deal.