The 2nd best out west
After inking Paul George and Jerami Grant to contracts last month, the Oklahoma City went $130 million over the luxury tax for the 2019 season. Looking to avoid that hefty payment and clear up a problem on their roster, the team’s front office is looking to trade Carmelo Anthony.
For the upcoming season, Melo is due $27 million, which is the second highest on the team behind Russell Westbrook. OKC is looking to save $91 million in luxury tax spending and said that Anthony would not be returning to the team for 2019. Over the last two weeks, the Thunder have been trying to complete a trade for the veteran shooter – but haven’t found any takers.
Melo, who previously said he wouldn’t come off the bench, is forcing the front office to set up a possible buyout before the month’s end. Last week, after we broke news of Melo going to Houston, multiple insiders believe that teaming up with James Harden and Chris Paul is imminent.
However, the rest of the general public is still left in limbo why he’s not paring up with LeBron James in Los Angeles. At the moment, the Lake Show is still unsure what they want to do with their roster, as they wait for Kawhi Leonard saga to end. With Melo saying he wants to start, he wouldn’t get that opportunity with the Lakers, who are forward-stacked (see: LBJ, Ingram, Kuzma).
Anthony also wouldn’t want to go to a dictatorship, with the King controlling the roster and substitutions. Surprisingly, he is also considering Philadelphia and Boston, who have young cores. While he could go to the 76ers and start, they’re still not ready for the big stage of the NBA Finals. For Boston, they have their roster set, with returning stars getting ready for 2019.
Then we have Houston, which is the team he originally was trying to force his way to last summer. With the Rockets, he could easily fill in the Trevor Ariza void and provide offense as a third option on the team. Considering he already knows the Mike D’Antoni offense from their days in New York, he would be playing with a superstar point-guard and best friend in Chris Paul.
Along with the league’s best isolation scorer drawing two defenders every possession, Melo could possibly resurrect his career – if he’s willing to play defense. At the moment, we still believe the Houston Rockets are the second-best team in the west, which is something Melo is taking into consideration to finally get a ring. Last season, Houston was the only threat to the Golden State Warriors, but sadly blew a 3-2 series lead with CP3 going down.
If healthy, we could see a rematch in the conference finals if Melo takes his talents to Texas.