Carmelo Anthony’s career with the Oklahoma City Thunder is coming to an end, as the team plans to part ways with the All-Star forward before the end of this summer.
According to ESPN, the Thunder’s decision to end their partnership with Anthony comes on the heels of the team reducing their $310 million payroll and luxury tax bill, which is the highest in league history. Severing ties with Anthony’s 2018-2019 contract will result in over $100 million in savings for the franchise.
League sources tell ESPN that Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose and Thunder general manager, Sam Presti will coordinate Melo’s exit through a trade or a buy out of his contract by the Thunder.
In terms of Melo’s 2017 – 2018 performance in Oklahoma City, the 34-year-old netted a career high of 169 3-pointers, but averaged a career low of 16.2 points per game, according to NBA.com.
While Anthony struggled to play alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George, in April Melo told reporters during his end-of-season exit interview that he’s up for the challenge of sacrificing his style of play — including playing off the bench.
“I think for me, my focus would be on kind of figuring out what I want out of the rest of my career, what I want in my future, what am I willing to accept, if I’m willing to accept that at all,” he said. “I think everybody knows that I’ve sacrificed kind of damned near everything, family, moving here by myself, sacrificed my game for the sake of the team, and was willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order for this situation to work out.”
“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 added.
Which team should Carmelo join next?