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Thunder now expected to waive, stretch Carmelo Anthony rather than trade him

Carmelo Anthony, Thunder

The deeper the summer goes, the smaller the window of opportunity for the Oklahoma City Thunder to find a trade partner that is willing to take on Carmelo Anthony and his massive one-year salary.

Moving Anthony and his $28 million guaranteed salary is never an easy task, especially with teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, and the Brooklyn Nets – who used to have ideal salary cap spaces to absorb a player like Anthony – pulling strings in the market recently, thus diminishing their spending power.

And if it comes down to the Thunder making a decision alone, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN believes that it’s just a matter of time before Oklahoma City resorts to stretching the forward’s remaining salary (h/t Ben DuBose of Locked On Rockets.

[email protected] on @SportsCenter now, speaking about OKC’s potential to trade Carmelo Anthony: “That’s become far less likely.” Cites teams like Brooklyn using up their cap space in recent days. “At some point here, it’s expected they will do a waive and stretch.”

Anthony’s partnership with the Thunder is expected to end soon, with the only question being about the manner with which Oklahoma City would split ways with the many-time All-Star, who is set to earn close to $28 million next season.

Stretching Anthony’s salary would mean that the Thunder will pay that amount over the course of the next three years, according to the most recent collective bargaining agreement. In other words, the Thunder could waive Anthony without his entire remaining salary counting against their salary cap next season. Instead, it would reflect on their books for approximately $9.3 million each season until the 2020-21 campaign.