Carmelo Anthony waived his no-trade clause for the Oklahoma City Thunder, believing that he could finally win his first NBA championship title by teaming up with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Unfortunately, things didn't go well for the All-Star forward as he failed to make himself fit as the Thunder's third scoring option. As of now, the Thunder are struggling in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs and could suffer an early exit at the hands of the Utah Jazz.
Losing earlier in the postseason will give Carmelo Anthony more time to evaluate his NBA future. According to Ryan Phillips of The Big Lead, Anthony has the power to become an unrestricted free agent this summer by exercising the early termination option in his contract. If he leaves the Thunder, Phillips said he might consider signing a cheap deal with the Houston Rockets or with the team where LeBron James will play next.
"So what's the future for the 10-time All-Star? It's clear whatever he's doing with the Thunder isn't working. That team looks like it needs to be imploded. Maybe Anthony could wind up collecting a cheap paycheck on a team with some friends — like the Houston Rockets, or wherever LeBron James lands — but that doesn't seem likely."
Carmelo Anthony will turn 34 in May and no one can deny the fact that he's already near the end of his career. He already earned lots of money in his 14-year stint in the NBA, and his main priority right now is to win an NBA championship title. Taking a huge discount to team up with Chris Paul in Houston or to join LeBron's team could help him accomplish his goal.
It's worth noting that the Rockets are one of the four teams James will strongly consider in free agency. Anthony, Paul, and James are members of the famous Banana Boat Crew. The three superstars, together with Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade, dreamed of playing together on one team before they retire.
Before he was traded to the Thunder, the Rockets tried to engage in trade discussions with the New York Knicks involving Anthony. Unfortunately, their offer was not enough to convince the Knicks to proceed with the deal. If Anthony tests the free agency market this summer, it will not be a surprise if the Rockets express interest once again in adding him to their team, especially if he will consider signing a cheap deal.