The Houston Rockets are determined to sign Carmelo Anthony if the Oklahoma City Thunder make him available, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Wojnarowski also reported that Rockets small forward Luc Mbah A Moute has agreed to a one-year deal with the Clippers. Losing Mbah A Moute and small forward Trevor Ariza, who agreed to a deal with the Phoenix Suns, opens up a spot for Anthony if a deal can be made.
Anthony, 34, opted into the final year of his contract in June, and is set to make $27.9 million next season. But the Thunder got into some salary trouble with Paul George and Jerami Grant both re-signing with the club. As their roster currently sits, the Thunder would owe approximately $310 million in salary and luxury tax next season which would be a record.
Reports surfaced on July 6 that the Thunder were looking to move Anthony.
The team can either trade him, or put him on waivers and stretch out his contract. Stretching his contract, which involves buying out a player by paying half the amount of the deal over double the amount of time plus a year, could save the Thunder $107 million in salary and luxury tax, according to Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski reports that the Thunder could stretch Anthony’s contract out within the next 7-10 days if a trade doesn’t materialize.
If Anthony does become a free agent, the Rockets won’t be the only team interested in his services.
In recent days, the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers have all been connected to Anthony in rumours.
Anthony was traded to the Thunder from the New York Knicks last summer. With the Thunder, he averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 78 games this past season.
With files from Steven Loung.