After a disappointing first season with the Thunder, Carmelo Anthony‘s future with the organization is unclear. He wields a $28MM option he figures to utilize, which would extend his Thunder tenure for one more season. However, Oklahoma City could pursue some sort of buyout with Anthony, which may put his NBA future in doubt.
Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman writes that one option for Anthony — if he leaves the Thunder this summer — is a career in China. The 33-year-old has already said he will not accept a bench role next season and it may be hard for him to secure a job with consistent playing time and scoring opportunities. Carlson writes that Anthony, if he goes to China, would automatically become the best player on any team he joins and be the focal point.
Carlson specifically points out the success that Stephon Marbury enjoyed in the China Basketball Association, becoming a sports legend in the country who was honored with a statue. Despite his struggles, Anthony still played in more games (78) than he has since the 2005/06 season while averaging 16.2 PPG. In contrast, Marbury averaged 3.8 PPG in his final NBA season. Nonetheless, if Anthony’s Thunder career is over, he will have options.
Check out more Northwest Division notes:
- If the Trail Blazers can enter the hypothetical Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes, the team should offer C.J. McCollum in trade talks for the Spurs superstar, John Canzano of The Oregonian opines.
- During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take this week, McCollum discussed the possibility of either him or teammate Damian Lillard being traded by the Trail Blazers this summer, per Sean Meagher of The Oregonian. “If you trade one of us, it’s lateral movement,” McCollum said.
- Jazz big man Derrick Favors spoke about his time in Utah in the past tense while cleaning out his locker this week but he wasn’t necessarily shutting the door on a return this summer, Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News writes. Favors will have plenty of suitors in free agency and he is ready for the experience. “We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “There will be a lot of things to think about this summer, but I can wait for that.”