The Oklahoma City Thunder just saved a whole bunch of money. Carmelo Anthony won’t be on their roster this coming season. But better than that, they won’t have to pay Carmelo a single dime. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he’s going to the Atlanta Hawks. Well, for now.
“Oklahoma City has agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta for point guard Dennis Schröder and Mike Muscala, league sources tell ESPN. Anthony will be waived, and he will join team of his choice. Rockets are front-runner.”
Not only do the Thunder get a player they want in Schröder, but they get him at a bargain. And as Woj notes, OKC might even be able to flip him too.
“Tremendous save for OKC: Thunder get massive salary and luxury tax savings — nearly $100M — w/o stretching Anthony’s $28M. That deal would’ve left $9M-plus on books next three years, so Schröder $15.5M per year becomes bargain — and an asset that could stay or be traded again.”
Carmelo didn’t fare well in his new role with the Thunder. He cannot handle being a bench player. Meanwhile, the Rockets finished just one win away from the NBA Finals. Therefore the last thing they need is a distraction like Carmelo. However, Chris Paul and Anthony are close friends. That’s the biggest reason he is likely to end up in Houston.
In the meantime, there’s a lot to like about Schröder. He only turns 25 years old in September while coming off the most productive season of his career. In 67 games for the Hawks, he put up 19.4 points and 6.2 assists. He wants to win and the Thunder put him in position to do that. They’re coming off a fourth-place finish but a first-round postseason exit. A healthy Andre Roberson is probably the difference between beating the Jazz and not. Getting Anthony off the team is already addition by subtraction.
Now we just wait to see where Carmelo ends up. It’s probably going to be the Rockets, but on the off chance it’s not…
Well, we’ll find out.