Things aren’t official between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Carmelo Anthony as of yet. That doesn’t mean other teams aren’t hedging their bets that Anthony will soon find himself on the free agent market.
A report came out earlier on Friday noting that the Thunder were planning to move on from Anthony this summer after just one season with the team.
While Oklahoma City is expected to look at the trade market, it’s highly unlikely any team will bite. Instead, OKC will almost certainly be forced to buyout Anthony’s contract, making him a free agent in the process.
If so, this one report indicates that the Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams that would be interested in the future Hall of Fame forward.
Lakers, Rockets and Heat are expected to have interest in Carmelo Anthony, per @wojespn. All have roughly same amount to offer – anywhere from $2.4M minimum salary to around $5M, which in turn could be the range of a potential buyout with OKC if he were to have mutual interest.
— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) July 6, 2018
Having just signed one of Anthony’s best friends in that of LeBron James, it’s in no way surprising that the Lakers would show early interest in the veteran.
Depending on the terms of Anthony’s buyout, he might be able to settle on a veteran minimum contract. If not, the Lakers still have their mid-level exception to offer the star forward.
Anthony, 34, averaged just 16.2 points on 40 percent shooting with the Thunder last season. He’s slated to count $27.9 million against the cap next season. With Oklahoma City facing a record luxury tax cost, it’s no surprise that the team is looking to move on from him.