The rumors of Carmelo Anthony joining the Rockets are heating up, and they’re not just coming from NBA reporters looking for offseason fodder. Houston’s own Nene posted an image Monday that showed the Knicks forward in a Rockets uniform, saying in a caption that he “can’t wait” to reunite with his former Nuggets teammate.

Nene subsequently deleted the post, but it only bolstered speculation that Anthony is, indeed, on his way to Houston. ESPN reported Monday that “the Knicks and Anthony feel good about the possibility of completing a deal that sends him out of New York.”

“The Rockets have been persistent in their pursuit of Anthony,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, “who is willing to waive his no-trade clause to join [Chris] Paul and James Harden in Houston and the Knicks do not imagine a scenario where [Tim] Hardaway [Jr.] is sharing the floor with Anthony to start the season.”

The Knicks surprised many in the NBA by signing Hardaway, a restricted free agent, away from the Hawks with a four-year, $71 million offer sheet. For his part, Anthony is close friends with Paul, and with Phil Jackson banished from the Knicks, he no longer has victory in that power struggle as a possible incentive to stay in New York.

Houston has long sought to bring in top-tier talent, and while the 33-year-old Anthony is on the downslope of his career, he averaged 22.4 points last season and could add some frontcourt firepower to a team with as talented a pair of guards as there are in the NBA. It likely would not be enough to unseat the Warriors in the Western Conference, but it’s not impossible that the defending champions could encounter some adversity, and the acquisition of Paul already signaled that the Rockets are in win-now mode.

The only obstacle to a Knicks-Rockets trade might be figuring out what to send in return for Anthony, given that Houston will have to come close to matching his $27 million annual salary and New York wants young assets. A third team may have to be involved, but no matter what it takes to pull it off, ESPN reported Sunday that the Rockets “are turning full attention to completing a deal” with the Knicks.

Until that deal is completed, though, Nene and everyone else will have jumped the gun a bit — not to mention flirted with an anti-tampering fine from the NBA — by putting Anthony in a Rockets uniform. It does, however, appear increasingly likely that we can nix any thought of seeing Anthony back with the Knicks this fall.