Report: Thunder would ‘very much like’ to rid itself of Carmelo Anthony
The future of the Oklahoma City Thunder is up in the air on several fronts in the aftermath of a first-round playoff loss to the Utah Jazz. However, one thing reportedly appears to be among the Thunder’s goals in the coming offseason: Figuring out a way to part ways with Carmelo Anthony.
The Sporting News’ Sean Deveney reported earlier this week that the Thunder would “very much like to find a way to rid” itself of Anthony.
However, that may be easier said than done. While Anthony can opt-out of his current deal, the Thunder are on the hook to pay him $27.9 million next season. There obviously is no way Anthony could land a contract anywhere near that much in free agency, making it likely he will pick up his player option.
That said, Anthony in recent days made it clear not only is he unhappy with his role with the Thunder, he is also frustrated that the team did not have a plan for how to use him once the team acquired him this past offseason.
Regarding the former, Anthony said last Sunday that accepting a bench role is “out of the question” for next season. On the latter, here’s what Anthony had to say about the lack of an articulated and clear vision for him upon arriving to the Thunder:
“The player that they wanted me to be and needed me to be was for the sake of this season… Everything was just thrown together, and it wasn’t anything that was planned out,” Anthony said, via The Norman Transcript. “It wasn’t no strategy to me being here, me being a part of the actual system and what type of player and things like that.”
Thunder general manager Sam Presti seemed to address both issues involving Anthony on with comments made Wednesday.
Presti says Melo put “both feet in” during the season to adapting his game and making sacrifices. After the season, it’s up to the player to determine if that’s a role he wants to continue in.
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) May 2, 2018
All signs seem to point to Anthony returning to the Thunder, despite their reported preference that was not the case. If that is indeed how it plays out, it will be up to both parties to figure out how to make the situation work.