CLOSEWhere will Carmelo Anthony land? Lakers, Rockets among candidates

Cleveland is taking down the long-lasting Nike-LeBron James billboard following information of his departure to the Los Angeles Lakers. Courtesy of WEWS
USA TODAY Sports

The revelation that Carmelo Anthony won’t spend next season in Oklahoma City is infrequently a wonder.

Before you even get to the basketball debate, there’s an economics part that is unattainable to forget about. If the Thunder use the NBA’s stretch provision to waive Anthony by way of Aug. 31, they may save roughly $94 million off their payroll that skyrocketed when Paul George decided to return on a four-year, $137 million deal. The Thunder also are exploring trades for Anthony that may result in large financial savings, however he has a no-trade clause and thus must approve the sort of deal.

Considering the 34-year-old Anthony is coming off some of the worst seasons of his profession, and that his position in Oklahoma City used to be obviously going to be lowered subsequent season, it is a no-brainer for all concerned. So, the place will ‘Melo land? That a lot is still observed, however listed below are a couple of recognized favorites.

Los Angeles Lakers

There’s a Banana Boat element to nearly each attainable Anthony touchdown spot, with the Lakers broadly believed to best that listing. Remember again in the summertime of 2015, when that picture surfaced of LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union-Wade driving a yellow floaty whilst on holiday? Well, Anthony – who used to be additionally there and is the fourth member of the Banana Boat workforce – has his absolute best likelihood but of pairing with James.

It will require a significant pay reduce if he have been waived and signed as a loose agent, because the Lakers best have roughly $6 million and differently have best minimal wage roster spots left ($2.four million for a veteran like Anthony). But whilst Anthony spent maximum of ultimate season lacking the mark (career-low 40.four p.c from the sphere; 35.7 p.c from Three-point vary), the Lakers are wanting shooters after including Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee.

Houston Rockets

Houston now not best provides Anthony his absolute best likelihood to contend for a identify among those groups, however to carve out an important position within the wake of the Rockets shedding veteran small ahead Trevor Ariza to Phoenix in loose company. The Rockets have their $five.Three million mid-level exception to be had, however also are recognized to be open to commerce choices.

Paul, in fact, is the Banana Boat connection in this entrance. Anthony attempted to move his solution to Houston ultimate summer season, however he wound up approving the transfer to Oklahoma City. There used to be a time when it appeared unattainable that Anthony and Rockets trainer Mike D’Antoni would reunite after their failed partnership in New York, however time, it sort of feels, has healed the ones wounds.

New York Knicks

Speaking of surprising reunions, don’t rule out a go back to the Knicks. Anthony loved residing in New York and enjoying for the Knicks and used to be reluctant to waive his no-trade clause when he used to be there.

Anthony and then-president of basketball operations Phil Jackson clashed throughout his time in New York, and the placement become untenable. But Jackson and trainer Jeff Hornacek are long past. Now, Scott Perry is the overall supervisor and David Fizdale, who has the consideration of maximum avid gamers, is the Knicks’ new trainer.

While the Knicks by no means were given past the convention semifinals throughout Anthony’s time, their 3 playoff appearances have been probably the most luck they’d because the 1990s. Bringing Anthony again on a team-friendly deal isn’t out of the area of risk.

Miami Heat

The Heat also are  in Anthony, in keeping with ESPN. Given the friendship he has with Wade, Anthony going to Miami is sensible. It will have to be famous, alternatively, that Wade is a loose agent with no contract and has now not but made it transparent whether or not he will play subsequent season. 

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter.

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