Oklahoma City has agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta for point guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, league sources tell ESPN. Anthony will be waived, and he will join team of his choice. Rockets are frontrunner.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 19, 2018
Schroder, a speedy 6-foot-1 guard, averaged a career-high 19.4 points last season for the Hawks in 67 games, all starts. Anthony’s lone season in Oklahoma City was largely a bust. He averaged 16.2 points and struggled at times in his new role alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. The 10-time All-Star posted career lows in scoring average and field goal percentage, and the Thunder were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Utah. The 34-year-old Anthony had been the headliner his entire career – he’s 19th in NBA history with 25,417 points – but he was more of a catch-and-shoot scorer last season instead of the isolation specialist he had always been. His playing time dwindled in the playoffs. In Game 6 of the first-round series against Utah that ended Oklahoma City’s season, he played fewer minutes than reserve Jerami Grant. After the season, he said he prefers to play with the ball in his hands more and said coming off the bench is “out of the question.” Anthony opted in earlier this summer to accept the $28 million he was due next season. The Thunder re-signed Grant, then it was reported that Anthony and the Thunder would eventually part ways, though it was unclear how it would happen. Schroder will likely fill a role for the Thunder similar to that of James Harden and Reggie Jackson in the past – explosive player who thrives as a lead scorer with the second unit. The Thunder are poised to be one of the best teams in the West after re-signing Paul George and Grant, adding center Nerlens Noel and Schroder and getting defensive stopper Andre Roberson back from a ruptured left patellar tendon that cost him the last three months of the season. Anthony and his reps met at the NBA Summer League with reps of both the Rockets and Heat after the Thunder granted permission, according to Wojnarowski. Anthony’s meeting with the Rockets included head coach Mike D’Antoni, according to Woj.
Tremendous save for OKC: Thunder get massive salary and luxury tax savings — nearly $100M — w/o stretching Anthony’s $28M. That deal would’ve left $9M-plus on books next three years, so Schroder $15.5M per year becomes bargain — and an asset that could stay or be traded again.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 19, 2018
Houston now has an opening at small forward after Trevor Ariza signed with the Phoenix Suns and Luc Mbah a Moute with the L.A. Clippers, although Anthony’s history with 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.” Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter And like ZAGS on Facebook
With Carmelo Anthony on the move, does recent public discussions between OKC GM Sam Presti and Heat’s Pat Riley mean anything to you? pic.twitter.com/kyKaQ1U2Ev— LasnerSport (@LasnerSport) July 10, 2018