The Oklahoma City Thunder and Carmelo Anthony, 34, are working to part ways, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young. — A move that could save the Thunder over $100 million. As the franchise sifts through a $310 million payroll and luxury tax bill, the front office and Melo reportedly have a mutual agreement that his limited role with the team isn’t what he had agreed to when signing with OKC, sources tell the site. Melo originally opted into his $27.9 million contract for the 2018-19 season back in June.
Melo’s agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti, who have a strong relationship and history, will work together on on Melo’s exit through trade, the NBA’s stretch provision, or a combined buyout and stretch sources say. Melo still holds trade veto power.
With Melo gone, OKC can use the stretch provision on his $27.9 million contract to eliminate a whopping $107 million off the team’s 2018-19 payroll and tax bill, ESPN notes.
The Thunder acquired Anthony in a trade with the Knicks before last season. He averaged career lows of 16.2 points on 40.4% shooting last season.
Now, the popular question is, will Melo — a 10-time NBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist — pack his bags and head to Hollywood, where his good friend LeBron James, 33, just signed a 4-year 153.3 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only would a player of Melo’s caliber fit well in LA, but, that means he would be closer to his wife, LaLa Anthony, 39.
Although the pair separated back in April 2017, Melo and LaLa have been adamant about remaining close to coparent their son, Kiyan, 10. However, they’ve been spending a ton of time together recently, which has stirred up major speculation that they’re back together for good. In fact, the two reunited for a family dinner with their son on July 5, where Melo posted a video of him with his arm around LaLa, where they were all smiles. And, LaLa spends a lot of time in LA for work, as well as for pleasure since her best friend, Kim Kardashian, 37, lives there. So, a move to LA may be the right path for Melo… just sayin’.