Heat linked to Carmelo Anthony exodus from Thunder

Heat linked to Carmelo Anthony exodus from Thunder

Heat linked to Carmelo Anthony exodus from Thunder

That follows a report from Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young of ESPN.com that stated the Oklahoma City Thunder will cut ties with Anthony this summer through a trade, waiving him with the stretch provision or agreeing to a buyout combined with the stretch provision.

The Thunder had one of the best starting lineups in the National Basketball Association with Anthony, outscoring its opposition by 14.2 points per 100 possessions with Anthony, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. The Lakers could find a way to trade for him, but most likely they'll wait until he reaches free agency.

The Lakers, who are in need of veteran leadership in a youthful locker room, could be a good fit for Anthony, while also allowing the 34-year-old to play with James during his first season in LA. Finding a way to unload Anthony, who went in and out of role acceptance during his sole season with OKC and is set to make $27.9 million in 2018-19, could save the organization more than $100 million.

The report adds that Anthony "would be pursued vigorously among contenders on the free agent market".

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With Oklahoma City facing a massive luxury-tax penalty in the wake of Paul George re-signing with the team, multiple media outlets reported Friday that the Thunder are exploring exit strategies with the former All-Star forward. One team that could be in on him is the Houston Rockets, according to The New York Times' Marc Stein. Melo still holds trade veto power.

"As far as being effective as that type of player, I don't think I can be effective as that type of player", Anthony said. "I personally think he did an excellent job in his first year transitioning his game, working to becoming more of an off-the-ballplayer, being more reliant on other people to generate his offense, and sacrificing a lot".

Melo had a down season past year, but he still averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Anthony expressed to the Thunder at the end of the team's playoff run he would not accept a bench role.

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