Could Carmelo Antnony end up in OKC after all?
According to the latest rumor, Melo and the Thunder are “officially circling each other.”
Have a scoop – OKC and Carmelo are officially circling each other. OKC's Troy Weaver recruited Melo to Cuse + has known him since DMV days.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 24, 2017
The Houston Rockets remain the favorites to land Anthony once he’s dealt from New York.
Per The Oklahoman:
A trade for Anthony would be the latest coup and gamble by Thunder general manager Sam Presti in an effort to improve the Thunder’s chances in the Western Conference.
Anthony has one more guaranteed year left on his contract worth $26.2 million, not including an early termination option for 2018-19 ($27.9 million). So, Anthony is in a similar situation to Westbrook and the newly-acquired Paul George. If Westbrook decides to bypass signing a supermax extension before the start of the season, he, George and Anthony will all be free agents in the summer of 2018.
With the June 30 trade for George, the Thunder has shown this offseason its doesn’t fear the luxury tax, with its 2017-18 payroll approaching $128 million. But trading for Anthony would require sending out significant salary, likely Enes Kanter’s $17.8 million as well as other players, and may neccesitate incorporating a third team a la the deal to acquire Kanter in 2014 from Utah.