Melo and Thunder Will Part Ways This Summer

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Earlier this summer, Anthony opted into his near-$28m contract for the forthcoming season, ending hopes that he would leave the team during free agency after a poor season in Oklahoma.

That, coupled with the fact that the Thunder are facing a historic $300M-plus cost for their roster this season resulted in the obvious choice to part ways with Anthony.

But, according to a new report from ESPN insiders Royce Young and Adrian Wojnarowski, the Thunder are looking into ways to relieve themselves of his services.

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The Houston Rockets are among the teams interested in Anthony once he hits free agency, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

So, in Anthony's case, should the Thunder decide to stretch his $27.9-million contract out, instead of getting hit with that huge lump sum next season, the team would have $9.3 million going against their cap for the 2018-19 season and the next two subsequent ones. Dealing him to a team looking to create salary cap space for next year's blockbuster free-agency class is obviously an option, though he does have a no-trade clause.

The most likely result, even with a trade, is that Anthony would eventually become a free agent, making his ultimate destination and value a fascinating point of conjecture. He also pushed back against the idea of coming off the bench. "I think I was willing to accept that challenge in that role, but I think I bring a little bit more to the game as far as being more knowledgeable and what I still can do as a basketball player". He averaged career lows of 16.2 points on 40.4% shooting last season. The Thunder, who lost to the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs, traded forward Doug McDermott, big man Enes Kanter and the Chicago Bulls' 2018 second-round pick to the New York Knicks for him this past September.

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