Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) reportedly set to part ways with Thunder

Carmelo Anthony's time with the Oklahoma City Thunder appears to be coming to an end. After re-signing both Raymond Felton and Paul George, the Oklahoma City Thunder is faced with an insurmountable $310 million payroll. With no one willing to take on Anthony's deal and Melo seemingly uninterested in leaving, it looked like the Thunder were simply going to have to grin and bear it. Here are eight viable options.

The stretch provision would slash $90 million in tax, dropping the Thunder's bill from $150 million to $60 million.

Anthony has a no-trade clause, but with any acquiring team nearly certain to waive him upon completion of the deal, it's a safe bet that he won't be exercising it after years of holding it over the head of the former employer Phil Jackson, the man who inexplicably handed it to him four years ago.

Anthony's pending departure from Oklahoma City has seemed obvious for a few months now, though it became even clearer when the Thunder and prized free agent Paul George agreed to a four-year, $137 million contract at the start of free agency.

Should Anthony hit the open market, the two reporters say the most interested parties would be the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

For those unaware, the stretch provision basically allows teams to waive a player and stretch out the remaining guaranteed money left on that player's contract over twice the remaining length of the contract plus one additional year. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, there are three teams expected to have interest. By working out a deal, Melo has the chance to go elsewhere and potentially (albeit unlikely) find the playing time he's looking for while Oklahoma City can avoid that tax payment. He averaged career lows of 16.2 points on 40.4% shooting last season. Anthony's frustration boiled over in the Thunder's first-round loss to the Jazz, a series in which he not only struggled, but also watched from the bench when the Thunder played their best basketball.

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