In a shocking deal just days before the start of training camp, Carmelo Anthony is headed to Oklahoma City in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and Chicago’s 2018 second round draft pick. The trade was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 33-year-old Anthony joins the Thunder a season after averaging 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds for the New York Knicks. He’s set to make $26.2 million in 2017-18, and has a player option for 2018-19 worth nearly $28 million. He joins Russell Westbrook and Paul George as key pieces that have the option to leave after the season should they choose to do so.
According to Wojnarowski, Westbrook and George played an integral role in convincing Anthony to waive his no-trade clause and accept the trade to OKC. He has also waived his trade kicker in order to make the deal work — but the Thunder will still carry a hefty $27.8 million tax bill.
Anthony figures to start at power forward in a Westbrook – Andre Roberson – George – Anthony – Steven Adams starting lineup, and infuses the Thunder with another potent scoring option. It’s yet to be seen how the arrangement will work on the court, but it’s clear GM Sam Presti is all-in on competing right now.
The deal is set to be complete on Monday, and the media circus will commence shortly thereafter. Regardless of how this ultimately plays out, the 2017-18 season guarantees to be exciting.
More to come.