ESPN- As the Oklahoma City Thunder navigate an historic $310 million payroll and luxury tax bill, the franchise’s front office is working through scenarios that will culminate in the inevitable this summer: An ending to the brief Carmelo Anthony partnership, which could deliver the Thunder over $100 million in cost savings.
The massive financial implications of Anthony opting into his $27.9 million contract for the 2018-19 season — coupled with a mutual understanding that his scaled back role isn’t what he had signed up for to play with Oklahoma City — have dictated that the two sides will part ways sometime this summer, league sources told ESPN.
Oklahoma City can use the stretch provision on Anthony’s $27.9 million contract to eliminate a staggering $107 million off the team’s 2018-19 payroll and tax bill, but the Thunder first plan to pursue trade possibilities with teams looking to acquire a massive expire deal to salary cap space in July 2019 free agency. Anthony still holds trade veto power, but it’s likely that any proposed deal would be with a team wanting simply to waive Anthony and allow him into free agency. The stretch provision would slash $90 million in tax, dropping the Thunder’s bill from $150 million to $60 million. The stretch provision spreads Anthony’s salary annually onto the Thunder’s cap for $9.3 million over three years.
So it looks like the Carmelo Anthony experiment in Oklahoma City lasted for one (1) whole season. Being on the hook to pay almost $100 million and setting NBA payroll + luxury tax records for the right to pay Carmelo Anthony to play for your basketball team in 2018 is crazy. Instead you figure out a way to get Phil’s Folly off the books by hook or by
crook stretch provision ASAP. I would also like to sincerely shout out #Me7o for opting into that last big payday while also ensuring that he will be able to choose his next team. Nobody locks down that giant bag better than #Me7o. Does #Me7o tweet this again with a different jersey on or just hope everyone forgets about it?
The next question becomes where will #Me7o land. I know people are slapping #Me7o in a Go7den State jersey, but I don’t think there is any chance they do that. Especially after taking on Boogie. I imagine the Warriors voting on #Me7o would end up about the same as their vote on Dwight Howard went.
Maybe Chris Paul and the Rockets go after #Me7o and CP3 makes good on that infamous wedding speech that he would team with #Me7o and Amare in New York that got me wayyyy too excited for wayyyyyy too long. Then again, we know how Melo-to-Houston rumors end up.
Okay, we all know that it’s been #Me7o’s destiny to be LeBron’s sidekick for years and the door is finally open for it in LA. Add in Dwyane Wade is an unrestricted free agent as well and you have a chance to reunite the Banana Boat crew in Hollywood to drink only the finest noirs straight from wine country as long as GM LeBron wants it to happen (except for Chris Paul, who “unfortunately” is tied down for $160 million in Houston).
The potential for this move is limitless. Not really for basketball since 2/3 of those players are different levels of washed. The third is a basketball robot that has to break down at some point, right? RIGHT? Anyway, watching LeBron drop his passive aggressive tweets while Carmelo Anthony shoots out his #StayMe7o goth bullshit every time the Lakers hit a rough patch is what being a sports fan is all about.
No matter where #Me7o lands, I can’t wait to see all the workout videos and tweets about how great Hoodie Melo is before he lures in another team like a succubus. That’s my favorite summer tradition outside of lightning bus. Now lets all take a minute and relive #Me7o’s greatest moment from his Thunder days.