The writing is on the wall for Melo in Oklahoma City.
Carmelo Anthony wisely punched in his 2018-2019 player option sensing it was the best bang for his buck. That decision was made voluntarily by player and his agent, but now central command faces a conundrum in of itself. After re-signing both Raymond Felton and Paul George, the Oklahoma City Thunder is faced with an insurmountable $310 million payroll. The team therefore has no other option but to sever ties with Carmelo Anthony, a buyout which could save the team a reported $100 million in savings.
Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, has a strong relationship with the Thunder organization and is confident a settlement can be struck, either by way of trade, buyout, or both depending on the circumstances. If Anthony were to land on the Free Agent market, he would have no shortage of suitors calling for his services, albeit in a lesser role than he's had in the past. Sources tell ESPN, the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams interested.
A "stretch provision" would have to be enacted in order to remove $100 million in savings. The Thunder became the first team to surpass the $300 million mark in salary and have until season's end to balance the books, if they are to swear off a $150 million luxury tax, accorded to teams that overspend.