Report: Carmelo Anthony Traded To Atlanta Hawks
What's the story?
10-time NBA All Star and 2012-13 scoring champion Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the Atlanta Hawks after waiving his no-trade clause, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports. It is a 3-team trade, with the following players moving to:
• Hawks: Melo, Justin Anderson, 2022 1st-rounder
• OKC: Dennis Schroder, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
• 76ers: Mike Muscala
Did you know?
Anthony recorded career lows in playoff and regular season scoring last season - this being his 15th in the league.
The heart of the matter
It has been rumoured for a while now that Anthony could be traded away from the Thunder. The 15-year veteran struggled to fit into coach Billy Donovan's offensive schemes. An isolation beast in the past, Anthony has struggled to shoot from the mid-range area over the past couple of seasons - these regions were his bread and butter during his peak playing days in Denver and New York.
He also refused to come off the bench, saying as much in his end-of-season interview.
The Thunder mulled over whether or not to waive him. If they had stretched his $27 million salary over 3 years, they could have saved $107 million on their luxury tax bill this year, although it could've hampered their flexibility over the next two seasons. Instead, they chose to obtain talent in the form of Schroder, who averaged nearly 20 points per game for Atlanta last season.
The Thunder have significantly bolstered their wing depth this season, and obtaining a reliable second-string point guard will decrease the burden from 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. With Paul George also committed to the long-term future of OKC, they look to be in pretty good shape at the moment.
The likelihood is that Melo will be bought out by the Hawks and set free to join a contending team, most probably in a bench role. If that doesn't come through, however, Carmelo Anthony will be a huge crowd-puller with the Hawks, who need to play entertaining basketball in order to fill the Philips Arena on a regular basis. They also drafted Trae Young with this in mind, and being in tank mode, they benefited from receiving the draft pick.
The Sixers, in turn, received a more playable wing to add to their rotation, shorn of Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova.
In my view, the Thunder have made the best out of a potentially shitty situation. For one, they have still been able to save nearly $62 million in luxury tax by shedding $6 million from their wage bill. Adding Justin Anderson gives them a tough-nosed, no-nonsense defender who can get hot from the perimeter, while Dennis Schroder proved himself to be an able point guard in the league (despite concerns about the German's shooting ability).
The Hawks are in no position to stop stinking, however, and they would be best served by letting Melo play out the final year of his deal. Melo himself, however, may be of the mind to turn ring-chaser, in which case the Hawks could get rid of his contract without much difficulty.
The Sixers were merely a third wheel in this storyline, with Mike Muscala not likely to affect their fortunes a whole lot.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 16:51 IST