Despite having a star-studded roster, the Oklahoma City Thunder still suffered an early elimination in the Western Conference Playoffs. The Thunder will be busy in the upcoming offseason and expected to prioritize re-signing Paul George. While they are determined to bring George back, Sean Deveney of Sporting News revealed that the Thunder want to get rid of Carmelo Anthony this summer.
Anthony’s first season in Oklahoma City didn’t turn out as expected. He struggled to make himself fit as the Thunder’s third option on the offensive end, and his defense was almost nonexistent throughout the season. Per Spotrac, the 33-year-old small forward could use the early termination option on his contract to become an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason and start a new journey somewhere else.
However, most people believe Carmelo Anthony will opt into the final year since there will be no NBA team who will be willing to pay what he’s about to earn next season. The only way for the Thunder to unload him is to waive him or find a team who will absorb the remaining $27.9 million on his contract. Though it is hard for the Thunder, they should first consider the second option.
Kirby Wilson of SB Nation‘s Hot Hot Hoops suggested a deal that could benefit the Thunder and the Miami Heat. In the proposed trade scenario, the Thunder will be sending Carmelo Anthony and a future draft pick to the Heat for Tyler Johnson and James Johnson, also known as The Brothers Johnson.
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) April 30, 2018
The deal will enable the Thunder to get rid of Anthony while having two starters in return. James Johnson will be the Thunder’s new starting power forward, while Tyler Johnson could replace or back up Andre Roberson at the 2 spot. The Thunder may have lost a draft pick in the process, but the trade could make them more competitive next season.
For the Heat, they will be having another scoring option next to Goran Dragic. Carmelo Anthony will be given the opportunity to play alongside his close pal Dwyane Wade before he officially ends his NBA career. With Anthony’s contract about to expire next season, the Heat will be able to clear a huge chunk of salary cap space that will allow them to chase superstar free agents in the summer of 2019.