Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Carmelo Anthony, who is due to make $28M this season, to part ways with the Thunder
By TIM REYNOLDS(AP) — Carmelo Anthony has played his last game for the Oklahoma City Thunder, barring a massive change of plans.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday that Anthony and the Thunder have mutually decided that he will not be on the team next season, though it remains unclear how that departure will actually happen. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no buyout, trade or waiving has been executed.
ESPN first reported the decision by Anthony and the Thunder. The person who spoke to AP says Anthony would prefer to sign with a contender if he becomes a free agent.
Anthony is due to make $28 million this season, his last in a five-year, $125 million contract he signed with New York before getting moved to Oklahoma City. He has said he will not accept a reserve role, and by parting with him — somehow — the Thunder could save more than $90 million in luxury tax payments.
Anthony averaged 16.2 points on 40 percent shooting last season, both of those being career-lows.
Anthony is already being linked to both the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets because of his friendships with LeBron James and Chris Paul, respectively.
Houston now has an opening at small forward after Trevor Ariza signed with the Phoenix Suns, although Anthony’s history with Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is not all rosy dating to their time together with the Knicks.
D’Antoni went 121-167 as Knicks coach, leaving in 2012 about a year after the team acquired Anthony.
In an ESPN article, D’Antoni wrote that “Anthony said the team needed to choose between him and D’Antoni.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.