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Carmelo Anthony traded by OKC to Atlanta, but waived for free agency

MANILA, Philippines – Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony has been traded along with a 2022 1st-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for point guard Dennis Schroder and big man Mike Muscala, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In turn, the Hawks have waived the 33-year old scorer, who is now free to sign wherever he wants to. According to Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets are the frontrunners.

Anthony was traded just two seasons ago by the New York Knicks to the Thunder, who were then hoping that the 3-time Olympic gold medalist would be a good piece alongside All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

However, the experiment failed to gain any traction as Anthony was forced to play out of position at the power forward spot. The veteran squad got quickly bounced out of contention by the young Utah Jazz in 6 1st-round playoff games. “Melo” averaged just 11.8 points per game on 38% shooting.

Meanwhile, the Rockets are in dire need of a small forward after they lost veteran wings Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute to the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively. Anthony will comfortably fill that gap and would just need to work on his chemistry with ball-dominant stars Chris Paul and the newly-minted league MVP James Harden.

That being said, Melo was coming off a dismal season last year, averaging career-lows in points (16.2), field goal percentage (40%) and minutes per game (32.1). In comparison, he averaged 22.4 points on 43% shooting in 34.3 minutes a game prior to his lone Thunder season.

He opted in to his $27.9 million contract option this offseason, forcing the Thunder to either deal him away or eat up his massive deal on the payroll. By trading him away, OKC has reportedly saved over $100 million in salary and taxes.

On the other side of the deal, Schroder is most likely being demoted to a bench role behind Westbrook. The 24-year old German guard was coming off his best season last year, averaging 19.4 points, 6.2 assists and 1.1 steals on a forgettable Hawks squad that posted a 24-58 record. – Rappler.com