The departure of Carmelo Anthony in the Oklahoma City is inevitable, and the veteran small forward is currently cooperating with the Thunder to fasten up the process. To get rid of Anthony and his $28 million deal, the Thunder may consider a trade, a contract buyout, or waiving his contract using the stretch provision. Though it is less likely, the Thunder are hoping they could find a trade partner who is willing to absorb Anthony’s contract.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Thunder are exploring trade scenarios in which Carmelo Anthony would be traded and waived to enable him to become an unrestricted free agent. Anthony has already waived the no-trade clause on his contract to help the Thunder facilitate his exit.
As of now, two NBA teams emerged as top landing spots for Anthony — the Houston Rockets and the Miami Heat. Woj revealed that the Thunder have given the 34-year-old small forward the permission to meet with the Rockets and the Heat.
“In advance of an inevitable — if not imminent — parting, the Oklahoma City Thunder granted Carmelo Anthony permission to meet with prospective teams, including the Houston Rockets and Miami Heat, league sources told ESPN. Anthony and his representatives met with Rockets and Heat officials at the site of the NBA Summer League in recent days, league sources told ESPN. Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, have been working cooperatively to expedite a separation from the Thunder.”
It’s crystal clear why the Rockets are very interested in adding Carmelo Anthony to their team. They just lost two forwards, Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, who played a major role in their success in the 2017-18 NBA season. Despite having a bad relationship with Anthony in the New York Knicks, Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Anthoni said that he has no problem coaching the All-Star forward once again.
Joining the Rockets will enable Anthony to team up with his close pal and member of the famous Banana Boat Crew, Chris Paul. The veteran point guard has been recruiting Anthony to Houston since the last offseason, and now that they could get him without giving up valuable assets, Paul will surely be more aggressive in convincing the Rockets to acquire Melo.
Meanwhile, in Miami, Carmelo Anthony will be given the opportunity to go all-out and bring back his usual game. He will not only return to the small forward position, but Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra could also use him as their main option on the offensive end of the floor. The successful acquisition of Anthony may help the Heat convince Dwyane Wade to play another season. Like Paul, Wade is also Anthony’s best friend and member of the Banana Boat Crew.