In a shocking twist, Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to part ways. The move was made in large, due to the Thunder’s $310 million payroll. As well as the $150 million-plus in luxury tax. This cut will eliminate Anthony’s contract worth $27.9 million in the 2018-2019 season. Ultimately, this move saves the Thunder over $100 million. The Thunder are expected to trade or waive Anthony later this summer.
Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder Agree to Part Ways
Anthony is coming off an underwhelming year with the Thunder. Last season, he averaged a career-low 16.2 points per game along with shooting just 40 percent. Anthony struggled in his new role playing the power forward position. Anthony’s search for a new team begins now. Here are the top four destinations Anthony should consider.
Where to Now?
If Anthony wants to win a championship, then the Rockets is the team for him. The Rockets are in need of a small forward to fill the void left by Trevor Ariza, who signed with the Phoenix Suns. Anthony would be an instant upgrade on offense and will play at his natural position. Also, Anthony can play fluidly off the ball as the offense will run through Chris Paul andJames Harden.
The Heat are in need of an offensive weapon, especially on the wing. No player on the Heat last season averaged 20 points per game. Point guard Goran Dragic was the lead man at 17.3 points per game. Anthony will be back at small forward. Also, the Heat are a very good defensive team, in which they finished 4th overall last season. That will take pressure off of Anthony in order for him to focus primarily on scoring.
Although Anthony will face the same position problem he had in Oklahoma City, he will have the chance to play alongside LeBron James, who just signed for four years. James and Anthony had discussions over the years about finishing their careers playing with each other. The Lakers can use another veteran presences given how young their roster is. Having Anthony will increase the Lakers’ chances on reaching the NBA Finals.
The Pistons should be a dark horse in landing Anthony. They need a scorer on the wing to complement Blake Griffin. Having Anthony on the roster will put the Pistons back in the playoffs next year. Also, Anthony’s career will come in full circle given the Pistons passed on him in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Any of these teams could land Anthony in the coming months and the decision rests in his hands. Does he want to push for a title? Does he want to play in L.A. with LeBron? Or is he interested in being a focal point in a new city? This off-season is only getting more exciting with each tweet sent out.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – DECEMBER 7: Carmelo Anthony (L) of Oklahoma City Thunder in action against Allen Crabbe (R) of Brooklyn Nets during a NBA regular season game between Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma Thunder at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico on December 7, 2017. (Photo by Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)