Fans freak out as Carmelo Anthony looks set for Thunder exit

Fans freak out as Carmelo Anthony looks set for Thunder exit

Oklahoma City can use the stretch provision on Anthony's $27.9 million contract to eliminate a staggering $107 million off the team's 2018-19 payroll and tax bill, but the Thunder first plan to pursue trade possibilities with teams looking to acquire a massive expire deal to salary cap space in July 2019 free agency.

Anthony, a four-time Olympic gold medallist and 10-time All-Star, is close friends with new Laker LeBron James. George's deal, along with a three-year contract to bring back sixth man Jerami Grant and minimum ones for backup point guard Raymond Felton and center Nerlens Noel, would help drive the Thunder's tax bill and payroll over $300 million.

This is a developing story. It would also take Anthony's salary annually onto the Thunder's cap for $9.3 million over three years. The OK3 experiment looks to be officially finished in Oklahoma City.

ESPN first reported the decision by Anthony and the Thunder.

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Anthony is due $27.9 million for the 18-19 season.

As it is, among the factors playing into Anthony's desire to move on is playing time, which could become an issue with a Heat team potentially seeking to expand playing time for younger prospects such as Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo and Derrick Jones Jr. "The Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers are among multiple teams expected to express interest in Anthony, sources tell ESPN".

"Remember, two years ago he was considered a superstar still, I think if he gets a fresh new start in a big city he might play well".

Anthony struggled in his only season with the Thunde, notching career-low marks in points (16.2) and minutes (32.1) per game while shooting just 40.4 percent from the field.

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