Carmelo Anthony Leaving OKC Thunder: Will He Join LeBron James In LA?

Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

The 34-year-old Anthony had been the headliner his entire career - he's 19th in National Basketball Association history with 25,417 points - but he was more of a catch-and-shoot scorer last season instead of the isolation specialist he had always been.

Anthony, a four-time Olympic gold medallist and 10-time All-Star, is close friends with new Laker LeBron James.

"Oklahoma City can use the stretch provision on Anthony's $27.9 million contract to eliminate a staggering $107 million off the team's 2018-19 payroll and tax bill, but the Thunder first plan to pursue trade possibilities with teams looking to acquire a massive expire deal to salary cap space in July 2019 free agency", the report read. Finding a way to unload Anthony, who went in and out of role acceptance during his sole season with OKC and is set to make $27.9 million in 2018-19, could save the organization more than $100 million.

Oklahoma City, which now has a payroll of more than $310 million when you include the luxury tax bill, is working through scenarios to eliminate Anthony's $27.9 million contract and a staggering $107 tax bill. According to ESPN, an agreement has been reached between Anthony's reps and the Thunder to split this summer.

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Carmelo Anthony didn't like his reduced role and the Thunder weren't keen on paying him big money to fail at it. You need as much talent as possible to challenge for a title, and Anthony was one of the only high-talent players available for the Thunder. If Melo is willing to sign for the taxpayer's mid-level exception and perhaps come off of the bench, he would add a lot of depth to Houston's roster.

Anthony struggled for most of the 2017-18 season, averaging 16.2 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.7 percent shooting from the perimeter.

"As far as being effective as that type of player, I don't think I can be effective as that type of player", Anthony said then.

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