Carmelo Anthony expected to be free agent, Rockets the favorite
Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking for a way to split, according to most NBA sources. However, there is a bit of a problem. Instead of waiving Anthony outright, the Thunder would like to trade him to another team, leaving them to waive his $28 million contract (if they so choose). There are several organizations that have shown interest in his services, but it seems as though the Houston Rockets are emerging as a front-runner.
Thunder are working on trade scenarios where Anthony, 34, would be moved as an expiring contract and be waived, becoming a free agent once his $28M clears waivers. OKC needs the Anthony’s permission to waive no-trade clause, which he has done to facilitate his exit, sources said. https://t.co/1p6hoBvTIs
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 10, 2018
The Houston Rockets have emerged as strong frontrunners to acquire Carmelo Anthony once he is free from Oklahoma City, league sources tell Yahoo. Anthony also has considered Miami.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 13, 2018
Whether it be through a trade or buyout, Anthony is indeed expected to become a free agent, as Marc Stein of The New York Times recently reported.
In either scenario — after a complicated trade or going the simpler buyout route — Carmelo Anthony is widely expected to become a free agent .. with the Houston Rockets favored to sign Melo once he clears waivers https://t.co/jylH5jVhBx
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 13, 2018
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Thunder gave Anthony permission to meet with interested teams in Las Vegas during Summer League play, including the Rockets and Miami Heat.
“The Rockets meeting included coach Mike D’Antoni, who had a turbulent relationship with Anthony as New York Knicks coach,” Wojnarowski writes in his recent article. “D’Antoni made it clear to Anthony that he thinks the circumstances together would be far different in Houston, and welcomed the idea of coaching Anthony again, league sources said.”
The Rockets (65-17 last regular season) could use a bit of help at the forward position, as they recently lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency. Anthony could help fill that void.
Anthony changed his game in many ways when he joined the Thunder. In fact, he even changed positions, moving from small forward to a stretch power forward role. The former Syracuse standout knocked down a career-high 169 three-pointers last season, though his scoring average was a career-low (16.2 points per game).
“I don’t think I can be effective as that type of player,” Anthony told ESPN, referring to his role change. “I think I was willing to accept that challenge in that role, but I think I bring a little bit more to the game as far as being more knowledgeable and what I still can do as a basketball player.”
Whether or not Anthony will indeed be suiting up for the Houston Rockets next season remains to be seen. Be sure to keep your browsers locked on ClutchPoints for more updates on this topic as they become available.