When Paul George re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, everyone knew Carmelo Anthony was going to be the odd man out.
This move triggers a domino effect that has the Oklahoma City Thunder scrambling to get Carmelo Anthony out of town. A few NBA teams appear to have interest in acquiring Anthony. However, nothing has taken shape for Oklahoma City. There are always plenty of ideas. If you read the various Thunder blogs, there are ways to trade Melo and get a decent return. However, one thing that they always fail to mention is the other team has to agree to the terms.
The closest trade that may affect the Thunder directly is the Houston Rockets. Rockets point guard Chris Paul who just re-signed with the Rockets is urging Houston to find a way to get Anthony in H-Town. The teams that are reportedly in the mix for Carmelo Anthony are the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, and Philadelphia 76ers.
Source close to Chris Paul tells me that CP3 is advocating for the #Rockets to acquire his good friend, Carmelo Anthony. Melo, 34, made a career-high 169 3-pointers last season on a career-high 474 attempts (35.7 percent). https://t.co/C8LT4rSpFF
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 8, 2018
To say that Carmelo Anthony had a rough season last year is an understatement. In 78 games, Anthony averaged 16.4 points a game. He shot 40 percent from the floor and 35 percent from three. However, the biggest issue with Anthony and the Thunder was the lack of chemistry that may have caused the Thunder’s demise last season. Still, you have to applaud Anthony for coming to Oklahoma City. He uprooted his life and decided to roll the dice on a small market team with high hopes. Anthony also changed his playing style and tried to adjust to his new role. He never trashed the coach or the system in which the Thunder played. You have to admire him for that.
Carmelo: "I didn't come here just to be a rebounder".
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) September 25, 2017
At the end of the day; Anthony will go down as one of the top scorers to play the game. OKC fans should respect the notion that a player of Carmelo’s caliber took a chance on their city. Still, fans and local media haven’t been too kind to Anthony. Whether it’s his play during the season or his unwillingness to come off the bench, OKC fans appear happy that the Thunder are moving on from Melo. You simply can’t trash a guy just because an experiment didn’t work out. Personally, I expected a lot more from Thunder fans. I also expect a lot more from my local journalist peers. By the end of the playoffs, I was disgusted with Thunder Twitter. Fans and blogs from all over OKC were just unbearable. I would hope that this does not become a trend in Oklahoma City.
Thunder GM Sam Presti could save $144 million in the luxury tax if he does move Carmelo Anthony. Presti would have to look to trade Anthony for a low-cost contract and draft picks. One thing to note; Anthony does have a no-trade clause in his contract. However, there are reports that both he and the Thunder are working together on this trade/buyout. Plus, I highly doubt that Carmelo Anthony is going to say no to joining the Houston Rockets if that deal does in fact happen.
Of all the places you’d like to see Carmelo Anthony go, Denver has to be on the list somewhere. How fun would it be to see Anthony go back to Denver and finish out his career with his first team? Denver is building a playoff team as we speak and may look to challenge in the Western Conference next season. Anthony could help launch them over that fence and secure a playoff spot.
However, it appears that Houston is indeed the favorite to land Anthony despite there being a couple of other places he could end up. One thing about Houston is, Melo could face the Thunder in the playoffs. Melo could also have a solid season in Houston, which would ultimately fall back on Russell Westbrook.