The Oklahoma City Thunders are sending Carmelo Anthony and a lottery protected 2022 first round pick to the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team deal that includes point guard Dennis Schroder, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Melo will be waived and the Rockets are frontrunners to sign him in free agency.
Atlanta and OKC had been discussing a possible trade over the past few days.
The move gives the Thunder another ball handler in Schroder and saves them nearly $100 million in luxury tax money, while the Hawks will buy out the remaining $27.9 million on Anthony’s contract.
As part of the deal, the Thunder will send Mike Muscala to the 76ers in exchange for Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and Justin Anderson will go from Philly to Atlanta.
Notably, Anthony has told people for more than a week that he expects to wind up with the Rockets, according to a league source.
According to NBA Reports, Anthony would not help the Rockets much at the defensive end. “34-year-old Anthony can still score, even though his average fell to 16.2 points last season as the Thunder’s third option behind Russell Westbrook and Paul George,” NBA expressed in a blog post.
Subsequent to Paul’s absence in the last two games of the Western Conference finals against the Warriors, Houston’s offense decreased at the worst possible time, most notably the second half of Game 7 as the Rockets missed a seemingly impossible 27 consecutive 3-pointers.
“Anthony isn’t a great 3-point shooter by any means, but he’s still a load in the post and is still able to get to the foul line — his last season in New York, when he was more of a primary option, he still averaged almost five free throws a game,” states the official NBA website.