By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Before the start of free agency, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony decided to opt-in to his nearly $30 million salary for next season. Anthony put the Thunder in a tough position.
On Friday, the Thunder announced that the franchise will part ways with Anthony after one season this summer. Oklahoma City has multiple ways they can get rid of the declining player.
The Thunder could trade him, or release him outright. In addition, they have the opportunity to do a stretch provision that could save the team $100 million.
The only two options really are releasing him outright or using the stretch provision. Trading him is going to be tough, near impossible since teams likely won’t be willing to take on his contract.
Once he is bought out by the Thunder, he will be eligible to sign with whichever team he wants. There’s already speculation that he may join the Los Angeles Lakers with his good friend LeBron James.
Yet, the Lakers are limited with cap space right now, as they have around $5 million. They would have to do a stretch provision on Luol Deng in order to free up more cap space in order to sign Anthony.
The Houston Rockets — who had interest in Anthony before he was traded to the Thunder last season — has already experienced interest in Anthony. Like the Lakers, the Rockets also have little cap space after they re-signed Chris Paul. If they re-sign Clint Capela, their little cap space is gone as they move into the luxury tax.
Anthony, who was traded to the Thunder on September 25th, 2017, for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round draft pick, appeared in 78 games, all starts, with the Thunder. He averaged a career-low 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game.
In his 16-year career, Anthony has started 1,054 games in the NBA. He averages 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game in his career.
For the first-time in his career, there is a very good likelihood that Anthony — wherever he signs — will have to come off the bench. He has previously refused to come off the bench.
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