Soon-to-be free agent Carmelo Anthony is informing people that he's going to sign with the Houston Rockets when the Atlanta Hawks formally waive and make him a free agent, according to David Aldridge of Turner Sports.
It should surprise no one that @carmeloanthony has been telling people for more than a week that he’ll ultimately wind up with the Rockets, per league source.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 19, 2018
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Thunder were trading Anthony and a 2022 first-round pick for point guard Dennis Schroder (whom the Hawks have been looking to move throughout the offseason), and Mike Muscala. Atlanta will then waive Anthony and make him a free agent.
Per Wojnarowski, the Thunder will then flip Muscala to the Philadelphia Eagles, who are set to trade guard Justin Anderson to the Hawks. This means the Thunder will move their luxury tax bill from $150 million to $88 million, per Wojnarowski.
This is a big win-win for both the Hawks and Thunder, plus Anthony will now get his chance to win that elusive championship with Houston, assuming he winds up there. He'll join a team that consists of reigning MVP James Harden and future Hall of Famer, point guard Chris Paul.
Anthony is coming off the worst statistical season of his career with the Thunder (averaging just 16.2 points per game while shooting a woeful .404 from the field). Those struggles can be attributed to simply not fitting in an offense with both Paul George and Russell Westbrook, however.
The future Hall of Famer will join a Houston team that led the NBA with 65 wins in the regular season, and fell just one game short of reaching the Finals. They were the only team that put up a fight against the Golden State Warriors in the postseason, but now the Rockets will add a big-time scorer in Melo.
Oklahoma City took a chance on acquiring Anthony, but it didn't work out and they'll still escape without any financial consequences. He also gets a chance to win his first championship with the 65-win Rockets. We'll see if he can help the Rockets end Golden State's dynasty run.