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The Oklahoma City Thunder parted ways with Carmelo Anthony after sending the 10-time All-Star forward to Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Anthony, forward Justin Anderson and a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick head to Atlanta while court general Dennis Schröder and wingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot goes to Oklahoma City. On the other hand, the Philadelphia 76ers received big man Mike Muscala.
However, the Hawks are expected to waive Anthony who joined the Thunder in a trade with the New York Knicks last September. As soon as Anthony reaches a buyout with the Hawks, the former New York Knick will hit the free agent market and be able to join any team he wants.
During his stint with the Thunder, Anthony finished with a career low of 16.2 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting. The Thunder finished with a 48-34 win-loss record but suffered a first-round exit in the playoffs.
Rockets To Land Anthony?
The Houston Rockets have shown their interest on signing Anthony. Earlier this offseason, the Rockets lost forwards Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute.
Ariza joined the Phoenix Suns while Mbah a Moute signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. Rockets guard James Harden said that signing Anthony would be a great acquisition saying that he would provide veteran leadership to the team.
“It would be a great acquisition for us. Melo’s a proven vet. He just wants to win at this point, so it would be great for him to be on our team. The current roster we have now, we’ve got good guys back and we keep making forward progress,” Harden said.
Harden and the Rockets are hoping to bounce back from last year’s heartbreaking performance after coming just a victory shy of beating the Golden State Warriors and clinching a spot in the NBA Finals. During the offseason, the Rockets bolstered their lineup by adding James Ennis and court general Michael Carter-Williams.
Great Move By The Thunder
With Anthony gone, the Thunder saved between $71 million and $73 million in salary and tax this season. In addition, the Thunder also got a solid contributor in Schröder who was the Hawks’ best player during the 2017 first-round playoff series against the Washington Wizards.
The 24-year-old table-setter averaged 24.7 points and 7.7 assists while going head-to-head against Bradley Beal and John Wall. However, the Hawks eventually lost the Wizards in six games. On the other hand, Luwawu-Cabarrot will provide depth in the small forward and shooting guard position for the Thunder who will welcome the return of Andre Roberson.
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