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In trading Carmelo Anthony, Thunder’s luxury tax bill drops $62 million

Carmelo Anthony

While shoring up their backcourt, the Oklahoma City Thunder are also saving a lot of money by trading Carmelo Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks. The Thunder and the Hawks had respective goals of shedding Anthony and Dennis Schroder off their rosters, and they found a trade partner in each other on Thursday, when Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported a blockbuster trade involving the Thunder, the Hawks, and the Philadelphia 76ers and with Anthony and Schroder acting as centerpieces.

With this transaction, the Thunder are able to cut down on their massive luxury tax bill, while the Hawks need not worry anymore about shouldering Schroder’s salary until 2021.

The Thunder’s projected luxury tax bill, meanwhile, will drop from $150 million to $88.8 million, saving them $62 million. The Thunder will save an additional $11 million with Schroder’s $15.5 million contract and the $1.5 million cap hit of Luwawu-Cabarrot. The Thunder’s payroll will stand at $148.7 million after the Anthony and Muscala deals.

Carmelo Anthony is not expected to play an entire year with a rebuilding team in Atlanta, as Wojnarowski also pinpointed that the many-time All-Star forward is going to be bought out, according to his sources. Anthony is coming off a down season, averaging only 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game while he also shot just 40.4 percent from the field.

As for Schroder, the Thunder are only committed to shelling out $15.5 million for each season until the 2020-21 campaign to pay the German point guard. Had Oklahoma opted to stretch Anthony’s salary, it would have cost them $9 million a year over the same duration of Schroder’s current deal.