Carmelo Anthony has told the Thunder that he won’t exercise his Early Termination Option, sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). He will be under contract for approximately $27.9MM this upcoming season.
The move was widely expected, as the market for Anthony’s services didn’t appear to match the lofty figure he’ll receive during the final season of the five-year deal he signed with the Knicks during the summer of 2014. Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on Friday that Melo would take this route.
Anthony averaged a career-low 16.2 PPG this past season, adding career lows in assists per game (1.3) and minutes per game (32.1). He was an afterthought during the team’s short playoff run, often hitting the bench during crucial moments.
Anthony had previously indicated that he wanted a larger role and a buyout agreement between Anthony and Oklahoma City could be forthcoming. After this week’s draft, GM Sam Presti said he was in contact with the future Hall-of-Famer.
The trade market may a difficult one for the Thunder to navigate, but with many teams lacking cap space and holding contracts from the summer of 2016 on their books, it’s possible a deal gets done. That’s based solely off of speculation, yet with the contracts of Timofey Mozgov (two years, slightly over $32MM remaining) and Dwight Howard (one year, $23.5MM remaining; likely to reach a buyout agreement with the Nets) on the move this week, it appears that no contract is untradable under the right circumstances.