by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

When Mikhail Prokhorov said “nyet!” to continuing the Carmelo Anthony chase earlier this week, it was music to a lot of NBA front-office executives’ ears. One man who was particularly happy with the news was Daryl Morey, the GM of the Houston Rockets.

Ever since it became clear that Anthony’s days in Denver were numbered, the Rockets have long been considered the dark horse to acquire him. According to Morey, though, it wouldn’t be wise to count them out.

Daryl joined KILT in Houston to discuss the ‘Melo man, and SRI captured the understandably hesitant quotes:

If the New Jersey Nets bowing out of the race to get Carmelo Anthony changed anything for the Rockets: “It was interesting how that whole recent episode, how it turned out. I do think that puts us into the game there a little bit … We’re always trying to upgrade the team and I think [that] worked in our favor a little bit.”

On how much conversing takes place with teams right now even though the trade deadline isn’t until next month: “There’s tons of trade talk. Usually the deals that are done by the deadline are usually starting to be talked about now. Just the nature of the NBA, we have it very good with Mr. Alexander in terms of having one owner who’s willing to spend money, who’s willing to do anything for the franchise. Other teams, they have multiple owners and often multiple decision-makers besides the owners so it’s hard to get things done unless they’re talked about for a while.”

It’s widely believed that the New York Knicks are the leading candidate to land ‘Melo — be it prior to the trade deadline, or through free agency — but Houston does have a ton of assets with which they could create a compelling trade proposal.

Daryl Morey knows he needs a superstar in Houston in order to bring the Rockets back to respectability, to say nothing of the Playoffs. Considered one of the best GMs in the biz, here’s his chance to truly prove it.