Anthony To Hawks, Schroder To Thunder In Three-Team Trade

JULY 25: The three-team trade involving the Thunder, Hawks, and Sixers is now official, according to a series of press releases. The deal took several days to finalize because the clubs had to complete a few other roster moves first, including Philadelphia signing Jonah Bolden earlier today.

Upon being released by the Hawks, Anthony intends to sign with the Rockets.

JULY 19: The Thunder and Hawks have agreed to a trade that will send Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Oklahoma City will receive Dennis Schroder in the deal. Royce Young of ESPN adds (via Twitter) that the 2022 first-rounder will have 1-14 protection, and will turn into two second-rounders if it doesn’t convey in ’22.

The Sixers will also be involved in the trade, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who tweets that Philadelphia will acquire Mike Muscala from Atlanta and will send Justin Anderson to the Hawks. The 76ers will also deal Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to Oklahoma City, Vivlamore adds (via Twitter).

Upon acquiring him, the Hawks will waive Anthony, Wojnarowski adds. That will free up the veteran forward to join whatever a new team when he clears waivers, and the Rockets remain the strong frontrunners to land him.

We heard rumblings earlier this week about discussions between the Hawks and Thunder involving Anthony, Schroder, and Muscala, so it seems those two teams were able to find common ground, with the Sixers entering the mix as well. Here’s how the deal looks for each of the three teams involved:

Oklahoma City Thunder:

It has been nearly two weeks since word broke that the Thunder intended to part ways with Anthony, but the team resisted waiving him outright. Doing so would have reduced his $27.93MM cap charge to just $9.31MM, significantly reducing the club’s luxury-tax bill for 2018/19, but it would have added dead-money cap hits worth $9.31MM for the next two years as well.

By trading Anthony and a future protected pick and taking back Schroder and Luwawu-Cabarrot, the Thunder will reduce their 2018/19 team salary and projected tax bill substantially while also adding a productive point guard in Schroder. The 24-year-old, who averaged 19.4 PPG and 6.2 APG last season, figures to assume a role similar to the one Reggie Jackson previously had in Oklahoma City.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Thunder GM Sam Presti and coach Billy Donovan were granted permission to speak to Schroder before the deal was agreed upon, and both Presti and Donovan are “enthusiastic” about the fit. Oklahoma City had been seeking more speed and another ball-handler, Woj notes.

Still, there’s a reason Schroder was available. There are on-court questions about his shooting and defense, and off-court concerns about his character and his legal issues. 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’ll face discipline from his team and/or the league when that case is resolved, but the Thunder appear to be banking him avoiding a more serious sentence.

As for the specific tax figures, by my count, the Thunder will now have a team salary of about $148.74MM with a projected tax bill just over $88.75MM. Prior to the deal, those numbers sat at about $160.97MM and $157.75MM, respectively. While Oklahoma City’s tax outlook for 2018/19 has improved, the Thunder will have to be wary about increased penalties in future seasons after adding Schroder’s $15.5MM annual salary through 2020/21. They’ll likely deal with that when the time comes though.

It’s worth noting that a lengthy suspension without pay for Schroder could further reduce the Thunder’s team salary and tax hit in 2018/19. A suspension would also reduce the likelihood of the point guard earning the $2MM in unlikely incentives included in his contract, though not all of those bonuses are tied to individual performance, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes.

Finally, the Thunder will create a traded player exception worth $10,883,189 in the deal. They’ll have a year to use it.

Atlanta Hawks:

The Hawks had been determined to move Schroder for much of the offseason, and drafting Trae Young and acquiring Jeremy Lin made Atlanta’s former starting point guard even more expendable. Despite his solid production, Schroder had a slew of on- and off-court question marks, as detailed above, and he was drafted and extended by Atlanta’s previous front office — general manager Travis Schlenk never seemed particularly attached to him.

By moving Schroder ($15.5MM) and Muscala ($5MM) for Anthony ($27.93MM) and Anderson ($2.52MM), the Hawks take advantage of their remaining cap room — they’re able to take back significantly more salary than they sent out as a result of that space.

Atlanta won’t get any real immediate help out of the deal, but the club will create future cap flexibility by clearing Schroder’s three remaining years from its books — both Anthony and Anderson are on expiring deals, and Carmelo will be waived shortly. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), he’ll get his full $27.93MM salary from the Hawks. That was certainly agreed upon prior to the completion of the deal, since Anthony had a no-trade clause and could’ve vetoed the move if he thought Atlanta would ask him to give back money in a buyout.

The Hawks will also acquire a 2022 first-round pick, which they’ll receive as long as Oklahoma City is a playoff team in ’22 — otherwise, it will become two second-rounders. The Stepien rule, which prevents teams from trading consecutive future first-rounders, meant that the Thunder would have had a hard time dealing an earlier first-round pick, since they’d already sent their top-20 protected 2020 first-rounder to Orlando.

Philadelphia 76ers:

While the Sixers’ involvement in this deal may seem extraneous, it’s a nice bit of business for Philadelphia. In Muscala, the team will acquire a big man capable of knocking down outside shots — he’s a career 37.8% three-point shooter and made a career-best 1.2 threes per game in 2017/18.

The Sixers thought they’d acquired a player who fit that role earlier in the offseason when they reached an agreement to sign Nemanja Bjelica, but Bjelica backed out of his deal with the team, leaving Philadelphia seeking a replacement. Muscala is a solid fallback plan, and is on an expiring contract, meaning he won’t compromise the team’s future cap flexibility.

In order to acquire Muscala, the Sixers only had to surrender Anderson and Luwawu-Cabarrot, a pair of players who seemed unlikely to have regular rotation roles for the team in 2018/19. The move will also help the 76ers clear out a roster logjam, as the team had 16 players under contract and was still believed to be considering bringing over draft-and-stash prospect Jonah Bolden. Following the deal, the Sixers are back down to 15 players on NBA contracts, not including Bolden or 2018 second-rounder Shake Milton.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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63 thoughts on “Anthony To Hawks, Schroder To Thunder In Three-Team Trade

  1. mpkgolf99

    Wow OKC is looking much better to make a stronger push through and through.

  2. Read the Rockets having trouble signing Capela may drive Melo to Miami. Westbrook and Roberson will start for OKC. Shroeder is an expensive bench player, provided he stays out of jail.

    • Kawhi and Melo got traded. Draft and free agency are over. Summer league is over. FIBA mini-camp is somewhat newsworthy to see id Kawhi shows up. Enjoy your summer!

  3. PedroColdBlooded

    He need to go to Indiana or Toronto he just need to stay in the east if he finally wanna go to the finals… dang go somewhere you go be an impact & drop 20+ a night

  4. victorg

    if melo wants to play then ROX are the team for him .. if he wants a RING … then he should join GSW,76ERS,ROX

    • hiflew

      If he wants a ring, he should just go buy one. It would have as much meaning as being the 10th man on the GS bench.

  5. paladin

    Soon to be doing “Meet the Coopers” commercials in downtown Houston with more off key singing between Dad, Mom, Grandpa & new baby. Rockettes had their chance and this years team is not nearly as good. CP3 will get hurt again and paying him 44 mill plus down the road is already affecting what the team can do FA wise.

  6. hiflew

    Well, OKC did pretty good here as far as a return for Melo, but what are they going to do with Schroder? Is he possibly going to be flipped somewhere else? Or is he going to be a 6th man? TLC is a pretty good pickup as well.

  7. Johnny h

    I cannot understand what Atlanta was doing here. The price for accepting Anthony’s contract should have been worth a 1st rd pick all on its own, especially if the plan is to waive him. According to this trade, they calculated Schroeder’s value as either zero or negative?

    Very strange decision here.

    • LordBanana

      45 mil left on that contract, uncertain legal status, mediocre shooter. I think is a good move for the Hawks

      • hiflew

        I agree. I think the legal issues had a lot to do with this. Not to mention that it clears a lot of future salary for them.

        That being said, I don’t think the Hawks are run by idiots. They probably did their due diligence about a Schroder trade and couldn’t find a deal they wanted.

    • Had to get out from under his long contract after drafting Young and trading for Lin. Smart move for them.

      • Chris

        Lin is often injured. Young is a small rookie. You would think at some point a PG needy team (be it lack of production or injury) would offer SOMETHING for Schroeder. I gotta hand it to Presti. He got the best player in the deal, saved his owner a bunch of cash, and may not even lose a first rounder in getting rid of Melo. That’s a win. And he may get something in the future for flipping DS

        • TravisElite36

          No one has mentioned 2-Way Contract signing of Pg Jay Adams! If anyone saw what Adams did in limited minutes in this past Summer League games that was only a small sample of what this guy can do. He’s going to surprise many of Hawks fans, in a good way, and by this time next year when Lin is gone you’ll be asking why doesn’t Adams get more minutes if he isn’t getting enough already!

  8. OKC is nuts to take on DS’s contract and give up a 1st (even if it converts if it’s not conveyed in year-1). Their tax issue isn’t a one year thing, and this guy’s on the books with no role for 2 more years. Maybe they have another team lined up that wants him. On a team other than OKC, he might make sense.

    OKC should have taken Muscala.

    • TJECK109

      Did you read where OKC saves 12mil in salary and almost 70mil this year on their tax bill? You don’t think 82 mil in savings just this year? Even if he stays with them it’s 45mil committed compared to 82 mil in one year.

      • The 82 mm is this just year.

        But waiving and stretching Melo would save 108 mm just this year. And they would keep the 1st.

        If DS “fit” with what the team needs (shooting), I could see it. He’s no better than Westbrook from 3 pt range, and Roberson can’t shoot at all.

        • OKC can just move Schroder in the future. This clears $82 million right now so its a big amount. The reason why OKC preferred to move Melo, instead of waiving him, was to get some talent back. If the Thunder waive Melo, they’re still stuck with signings guys to the minimum. At least if they trade him, they get some semi-talented players to immediately replace him plus any other potential minimum signings.

          • The issue is can they trade him and get something back that fits better? It’s odd when every dollar is costing you 4 or 5 more to take on what is at best a luxury item when you have a screaming need for shooting.

            I think they still have their MLE, but it’s a cap exception, not a tax exception.

  9. Shaun owens

    Ok I don’t understand this trade from the hawks side but whatever I don’t own the team.
    There’s so many payroll. Draft rules contract rules . But I thought you couldn’t trade the first round pick this far out?

    And I thought the thunder had trade thier other first round picks and you can’t trade back to back first round pick only if you switch first rounds ..

    I don’t I just don’t know

    • diller79

      They drafted Trae Young and signed Jeremy Lin so that is a clear statement that they didn’t want schoerder anymore and they got a first round pick so how does this not make sense

    • Luke Adams

      You can trade draft picks up to seven years in advance. You can’t trade consecutive future first-round picks. So the Thunder (who have now traded protected picks in 2020 and 2022) are within those rules.

  10. formerlyz

    OKC did probably need the backup playmaker, but they still need shooting and more shooting, and they didnt save as much money as originally anticipated by adding Schroder, so to me, it wasnt worth moving Melo, but I’ve made my arguments on that side, and that no longer a point worth arguing now that they have moved him

    Philly was in a position where Chandler made Anderson expendable, and TLC was expendable due to the versatility they added in the draft this year. They obviously weren’t moving Korkmaz at this point either. Bjelica would have been a much more skilled option, but Muscala replaces Ilyasova well, and they opened the roster space, so nice creative move for them

    Justin Anderson actually fits in Atlanta. They should have a surprisingly versatile roster, and its obvious the way they’re trying to play

    Still hoping Melo comes to Miami, but I’m assuming he likely joins Chris Paul, at this point

  11. For those questioning why OKC didn’t just waive Melo, it comes down to who they would be replacing his minutes with. If they waive him, they’re still only stuck with basically the minimum to fill out their bench. At least with this, Schroder comes right in and fills their black hole at the backup PG spot (unless you guys think Raymond Felton is a quality backup), TLC for additional minutes off the bench at the wing spots, and they can still sign guys at the minimum.

    • formerlyz

      Argument could be made for keeping Melo at that point…which has been my argument previously. It would be a 1 year tax bill. Right now they’re set up for multiple big tax bills, and they didn’t save nearly as much as they were apparently trying to for this year by making the move in the first place.

      I would agree about their playmaker situation off the bench, but they could stagger minutes, and they have other secondary and third playmakers at other positions. They also have 1 or 2 young guys that possibly can see minutes. So for me, their much bigger issue is shooting, which is now an even bigger issue. They also dont really play a movement type offense, which they should, but that’s a different conversation.

      • I agree Miami/Formerlyz. The Thunder should have just kept him as a scorer Off the Bench. Kind of a instant offense guy like Jamal Crawford or Lou Williams.

        He says he don’t want to come off the bench but he’s not the coach.

        Taking on Schroeder 3 more years big money is a mistake. He’s not the player they thought he was when they gave him all that money.

        Is Carmelo so bad you have to dump him and give up a first-round pick that you can’t afford to give away?

        Whoever picks him up as a buyout thinks he’s good enough to help a playoff team.

        Melo’s good enough for the Rockets playoff run.. why not OKC?

        • formerlyz

          He wouldnt have needed to come off the bench. They could have just used him as the starting 4, as they were already doing, and staggered minutes, and added a shooter or 2 around them. That’s all they really needed.

  12. afsooner02

    Def A grade for thunder here. Move melo, save 80m in tax and salary, get pieces back that can contribute and all you gave up was a first round pick that will likely be in the mid 20s anyway.

    Huge win for okc….if Schroeder doesn’t get a felony for his prior actions….big if right now.

  13. bennyg

    Would love for Atlanta to turn around now and say “No, no we’re not waiving you now Melo. We want you for 20 a night and to help teach/show Trae how it’s done”

    • paladin

      If you’re being sarcastic I think you’re hilarious. If you’re serious then I ask you this. what did Trae & Hawks team do to you? Inflicting Melos old ISO style of clear-out play. No defensive pride, like Jabari,”just here to score” Parker. He chewed up Lin in NY pretty good because he stole some Melo limelight. He can’t be in ATL. Maybe Trae can learn his I’m a starter attitude from Melo. Toxic waste

  14. Lots of numbers thrown around about “savings” but in comparing what they did to stretching Melo:

    OKC just agreed to pay 26-28 mm (per year for 3 years, total of 75-80 mm) plus a 2022 1st round pick, to get DS.

    • Luke Adams

      Schroder’s cap hit is pricier than Melo’s would have been if he were stretched, but having a potentially good young player at $15.5MM per year gives OKC more options than just having dead money at $9.3MM per year. If Schroder serves his suspension this year, stays out of further trouble, and plays well this season, he should be a positive trade asset next year if the Thunder want to flip him at that point — they couldn’t have done anything with Melo’s dead money.

      Those are big “if”s, in my opinion, since I’m skeptical about the fit. But that’s probably their thinking.

      • It’s all about “fit” and “salary” – If DS were a guy who can shoot 40% from 3 pt range, then the deal would make sense, regardless of the salary. If DS were a better player than his salary, then the deal would make sense regardless of fit, because if it doesn’t work out they could move him for equivalent or greater basketball value. I don’t think there’s anyone seeing the first. Maybe the second is or will become the case.

    • afsooner02

      You’re assuming no other trades or salary dumps happen over the next 2 offseasons when you did your math. Huge assumptions.

      • Yes, and I also assumed that salaries on existing contracts will escalate at the same level as the cap and tax lines do. With 8% escalators on the Westbrook and George contracts, that’s likely an overly optimistic assumption.

  15. Shaun owens

    I’m a Celtic fan but I watch most thunder games a lot on the nba league,bc I love watching Westbrook, they are a better team with out melo so I like the trade..

    • steve

      As a Celtics fan living in OKC I cannot relate lol. And being that my mom’s side is from down here I really wanted to like the Thunder, like badly, but even when they had Durant and Westbrook they were almost unwatchable. I guess I’m just a sucker for crisp passing and back door cuts, and in that regard the Celtics and thunder are like night and day. Of course you really want to see the exact opposite of what your fave team does need ght in and night out the. I suppose I get the appeal.

  16. ThatBallwasBryzzoed

    Melo to Atlanta only be released. Lol. Why wouldn’t okc waive him. They get a player out of it but Atlanta gets squat now.

    • diller79

      Atlanta gets a first round pick and OKC doesn’t have to play Mello Atlanta does. What doesn’t make sense

    • padam

      So you’re saying to you didn’t read any of the post except the headline.

  17. OKC is the big winner getting DS & getting rid of Melo, DS right now is way better player, also getting TLC, unbelievable result for OKC, though I can’t see the fit of DS.

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