Hawks, Thunder Have Discussed Carmelo Anthony

The Thunder and Hawks have engaged in discussions on a potential trade involving Carmelo Anthony, reports NBA columnist Mitch Lawrence (Twitter link). According to Lawrence, the Thunder are looking at Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, and if the two sides can make a deal, Atlanta would buy out Anthony’s expiring contract.

Per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks and Thunder spoke in Las Vegas about a possible trade involving Anthony, but those talks didn’t get serious. Still, Vivlamore acknowledges that things could change now that Atlanta has acquired another point guard in Jeremy Lin.

The Hawks have been exploring possible trades involving Schroder for much of the offseason, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that their acquisition of Lin may expedite the process of moving Schroder. While the 24-year-old has been a productive player on the court, concerns related to his legal troubles and locker-room fit have limited his appeal to both the Hawks and to potential suitors. Lawrence indicates that trading Schroder is Atlanta’s “No. 1 priority.”

Schroder was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge last September, with Georgia officials recommending in March that he be prosecuted for felony aggravated battery. He figures to face discipline from his team and/or the league when that case is resolved. Jail time also isn’t entirely out of the question, though Hawks officials are reportedly confident that will be avoided.

Meanwhile, the Thunder continue to explore ways to part ways with Anthony without simply having to waive him. Cutting Anthony outright and stretching his salary over the next three years would result in cap hits of $9.3MM+ annually through 2020/21. Oklahoma City would like to find a way to reduce its projected tax bill by cutting costs in an Anthony trade, though it’s unclear if the team is willing to add an asset – such as a future first-round pick – to make that happen. That may be a sticking point for the Hawks, per Lawrence and Vivlamore.

We outlined in detail last week how an Anthony trade could work for a team that has available cap room, but not necessarily enough to accommodate his full $27.93MM salary. The Hawks meet that criteria. They can create about $10MM in cap space, so they wouldn’t have to match salaries if they were to trade for Anthony — Schroder ($15.5MM) and Muscala ($5MM) would be enough.

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19 thoughts on “Hawks, Thunder Have Discussed Carmelo Anthony

  1. Very good for Atlanta, but cannot see the fit with OKC, what they do with DS while having Westbrook? They would have to flip him again, & as Atlanta has found out ain’t as easy as it should be.

    • Grant

      The Thunder would probably use him as a Reggie Jackson/Jame Harden super sub. A piece they have been missing for awhile now and will also relieve Westbrook’s workload

  2. acarneglia

    Muscala, Bembry, Schroeder for Melo, and either Ferguson or a 1st rd pick. Atlanta wants building blocks

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      That’s crazy talk. Lin’s garbage. Schroeder would be a great backup for Westbrook, and opens up the interesting possibility of periodically sliding Westbrook over to the 2.

  3. If OKC is going to take back a player for keeps in a Melo deal, then it should be a shooter. If it’s a multi-year deal that they’re taking back (like DS), then they shouldn’t also surrender a 1st round pick. Atl’s 10 mm cap space is nice, but OKC would still be taking back 20.5 mm in salary, so it really isn’t much different than doing a deal for 22.9 in return salary, which works at 125%. I think there are better deals out there for OKC if they’re willing to take that much back in salary.

    • BDUBS5218

      Saves them about 7 mil. Also they would be getting back more productive players. Schroder has his flaws but gives them an athletic reserve at the guard position. Muscala gives them a stretch 4 to back up Patterson assuming no other moves.


      • BDUBS5218

        Save much more with tax implications. Wouldnt be surprised if they tried to flip Schroeder

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      A player as good as Schroeder for Carmelo would be like Christmas in July.

  4. diller79

    Schroeder going to OKC will be a disaster with Russel Westbrook. It will be Reggie Jackson all over again and they will end up hating each other and Schroeder will want out

  5. GuruGray

    Paying heavy luxury tax fees for Dennis Schroder to come off your bench seems like a really good idea

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