Bill Simmons dropped an interesting bit of information on Monday morning — apparently there is interest swirling between Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Have a scoop – OKC and Carmelo are officially circling each other. OKC's Troy Weaver recruited Melo to Cuse + has known him since DMV days.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 24, 2017
While it’s unclear exactly what “circling each other” means, it’s an interesting idea from the lead man at The Ringer. He notes Anthony’s connection to Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver, so there’s at least reason for the smoke. The 33-year-old small forward has two seasons left on his contract — including a $27.9 million player option for 2018-19 and a no-trade clause that has yet to be waived. It’s possible he would become a rental for any team that lands him, but Sam Presti has already proven a willingness to roll the dice on such a scenario.
Anthony has been a rumored target of the Houston Rockets, and that noise has only grown over the last week. According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Anthony “is focused on getting a deal done with Houston.” He ultimately holds the keys to his future due to the no-trade clause, but it’s possible playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George is attractive enough to give the move a green light.
Any deal with Oklahoma City would likely start with Enes Kanter and pieces/assets to make the money work. The length of Kanter’s contract is possibly more palatable than what the Knicks would have to take back from Houston or Portland, so Presti may have the inside track. A Westbrook – George – Melo trio wouldn’t be short on firepower, but would be quite long on questions about the fit. As Anthony is a known ball-stopper, there’s no guarantee the project would yield much success at all.
Anthony appeared in 74 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from downtown. His brightest days are behind him, but he’s still one of the best pure scorers in the game. If Presti has an opportunity to land him without giving up too much, it’s an idea likely worth trying for the Thunder if the front office believes he’ll buy-in to his role.