Houston is actively shopping Yao. Yao has an expiring contract of $17m this year. A trade of Murphy's expiring and Petro works on NBA Trade Machine. We could re-sign Yao at the end of the season, assuming he's medically cleared, for a much lower contract and use the remaining cap space to add legitimate talent. A servicable Yao could come off the bench for 15 minutes a game and represent the kind of international branding that Proky craves.
I, for one, don't believe that Melo is destined to sign with the Nets. I view it as highly unlikely. From Melo's perspective, all he has to do is wait it out and sign with the Knicks this offseason. As much as I detest the Knicks, they're playing good basketball, they'll have cap room, and that's where he really wants to play. Nets and Nuggets have failed to learn the lesson of this past summer. That is, superstar players have all the leverage and Melo will get what he wants. For those of you who will protest that Melo faces the risk of losing money. If Melo lands in New York, he'll make it up in endorsements. And don't underestimate how important it is for Melo to keep LaLa happy.