Reports broke around noon on July 6th that Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder will part ways. There isn’t an exact timeline for this, but one could only assume it won’t be long. It’s safe to say that Anthony won’t be in Oklahoma City for camp later this summer.
The Oklahoma City front office is working with Carmelo’s representatives to evaluate the different options. It’s likely that the two sides will reach a buyout agreement, or a stretch provision. That being said, a trade is still on the table.
Finding a trade for Anthony might be difficult, but it would definitely be the best option for the Thunder. Regardless of his overall performance a year ago, he still averaged 16 points per game. OKC’s bench is already pretty thin, and letting that many points per game just walk away would not be ideal for the Thunder.
Due to the structure of Melo’s contract, he would have to agree to the trade. This adds another tough element to the entire process. Not only do the Thunder have to find a team interested in Anthony, he also has to be willing to play there.
Whatever the outcome with Carmelo Anthony may be, it’s clearly in the best interest of the Thunder organization to part ways. Russell Westbrook and Paul George had a +14.4 net rating on the court together last season. When you add Melo to that mix, the Thunder were only +4.9.
Parting ways with Melo is an all around win for the Thunder. After paying his salary and the luxury tax due to the contract, he would be costing the Thunder nearly $100 million next season. Obviously finding a trade for Anthony would be the best situation as far as getting something in return. However, if a buyout or stretch provision are the only options, the Thunder will have to do what is necessary.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.