Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to part ways this offseason. The Thunder are currently finding an NBA team who is willing to absorb Anthony’s expiring contract and let him walk away as an unrestricted free agent. According to Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News, the Brooklyn Nets have expressed interest in helping the Thunder solve their current situation.
Lawrence reported that the Nets are willing to trade point guard Jeremy Lin to the Thunder in exchange for Carmelo Anthony and a future draft pick. Once the deal is done, the Nets will waive the veteran small forward to enable him to join the team of his own choice. As of now, the two NBA teams emerged as top landing spots for Anthony in free agency – the Houston Rockets and the Miami Heat.
The potential trade deal makes a lot of sense for the Nets as it will allow them to address the logjam in their backcourt while receiving a future first-round pick. As of now, they have four point guards on their roster – Jeremy Lin, D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Isaiah Whitehead. Spending his first two seasons with the Nets dealing with injuries, Lin is obviously the odd man out in Brooklyn. When healthy, the Asian-American could be a reliable contributor to the Thunder’s second unit, serving as the primary backup for Russell Westbrook.
However, according to Brian Lewis of New York Post, a straight player swap between the Thunder and the Nets won’t work because of the huge difference between Lin’s salary and Melo’s. Lin opted into the final year of his contract worth $12.5 million while Anthony will be making $27.9 million next season.
“With the Nets just about $10.5 million under the cap, the trade wouldn’t work unless Brooklyn sent back other pieces the Thunder might be loath to take. Another issue is that the Thunder traded away their 2019 first-round pick, and therefore can’t give Brooklyn their 2020 selection, either. The Nets getting more than $5 million back from Dwight Howard’s buyout made taking salary dumps more possible. That’s still the case, either with any Anthony trade and buyout, or other moves the Nets have looked at.”
As of now, there is only a little information available about the rumored trade negotiation between the Thunder and the Nets. Jeremy Lin is confident that there is no truth about the trade rumors surrounding him. Lin said that if there are any trade talks, Nets General Manager Sean Marks or Coach Kenny Atkinson would let him know.