Report: Thunder give Anthony OK to meet w/ other teams
NBA.com Global on Jul 11, 2018 07:37 AM
FILE - DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 9: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots a free throw against the Denver Nuggets on November 9, 2017 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Bart YoungNBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Carmelo Anthony and his representatives met with the Houston Rockets and Miami Heat at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas over recent days, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
These meetings reportedly occurred after the Thunder granted Anthony permission to speak with other teams. The Thunder are reportedly determined to part ways with Anthony this summer.
Wojnarowski has more on Anthony's meetings with the Rockets, who are reportedly eager to add Anthony after losing forwards Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute during free agency:
The Rockets meeting included coach Mike D'Antoni, who had a turbulent relationship with Anthony as New York Knicks coach. D'Antoni made it clear to Anthony that he thinks the circumstances together would be far different in Houston, and welcomed the idea of coaching Anthony again, league sources said.
The Thunder are working on trade scenarios where Anthony, 34, would be moved as an expiring contract and be waived, becoming a free agent once his $27.9 million 2017-18 salary clears waivers. Oklahoma City needs Anthony's permission to waive his no-trade clause, which he has done to facilitate his exit, league sources said.
Anthony's contract makes trade possibilities less likely than simply executing the NBA's waive and stretch provision on his contract, which would save the Thunder over $100 million. That would spread his salary cap hit equally at $9.3 million over three years.
As for the Heat, Wojnarowski reports, "Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has been a strong advocate of signing Anthony, who could play a major role for the Heat at power forward."
Oklahoma City has been busy this offseason, starting with free agent Paul George committing to stay with them. They also reached reported deals with big man Nerlens Noel, incumbent forward Jerami Grant and veteran guard Raymond Felton.
The 34-year-old Anthony had been the headliner his entire career - he's 19th in NBA 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. He averaged 16.2 points per game, but struggled at times in his new role. His playing time dwindled in the playoffs and he wasn't happy. In Game 6 of the first-round playoff series against Utah that ended Oklahoma City's season, he played fewer minutes than his backup, Grant.
It wasn't entirely clear if Anthony would opt in. After the season, he said he prefers to play with the ball in his hands more and said coming off the bench is "out of the question."
"So it's something I really have to think about, if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball," he said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.