Carmelo Anthony likely heading to open market

The Oklahoma City Thunder has made several big additions to their roster this offseason. Not only did the team retain Paul George and Jerami Grant, the Thunder signed center Nerlens Noel. In order to accommodate all these salaries, the Thunder will need to slash payroll elsewhere, and Carmelo Anthony seems like the prime target.

Acquired during the 2017 offseason, parting ways with Anthony would save the Thunder nearly $100 million in salary and luxury taxes. As it stands, the Thunder are looking at the most expensive team in NBA history, with a bill in the neighborhood of $310 million.

According to ESPN, Anthony is expected to have a sizable market. The Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Miami Heat are all believed to be interested in his services. The Thunder will likely explore trade options, but if none emerge, they would like to waive him via the stretch provision.

The Thunder would once again change their identity–featuring a heavier dose of George on the offensive end and relying on athletic role players to fill the voids. After being a central figure throughout his career, Anthony was forced into a tertiary role during his first season in Oklahoma City.

"I don't think I can be effective as that type of player," Anthony said following the 2017-18 season. "I think I was willing to accept that challenge in that role, but I think I bring a little bit more to the game as far as being more knowledgeable and what I still can do as a basketball player."

The Lakers and Rockets make the most sense for Anthony since they feature good friends and USA Basketball teammates LeBron James and Chris Paul, respectively.

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