The search for a Carmelo Anthony trade partner came to an end Thursday when the Thunder completed a multi-team deal with the Hawks and 76ers to end Anthony’s tenure in OKC after only one season — but his tenure in Atlanta will be even shorter, as the Hawks will waive Anthony immediately.
Since Anthony opted into his $27.9 million player option with the Thunder, Oklahoma City has transparently been looking at options to get that contract off of their cap sheet. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the story:
Oklahoma City has agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta for point guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, league sources tell ESPN. Anthony will be waived, and he will join team of his choice. Rockets are frontrunner.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 19, 2018
Yahoo’s Shams Charania followed with full details on the trade:
Sources: As part of multi-team Carmelo Anthony/Dennis Schröder deal, Atlanta's Mike Muscala will go to Philadelphia, 76ers' Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot will be traded to Oklahoma City and 76ers' Justin Anderson to Atlanta.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 19, 2018
And ESPN’s Royce Young followed with details on the pick headed to Atlanta:
The pick the Thunder are sending the Hawks is 2022 lottery protected first rounder (1-14). If it doesn’t convey, it’ll become two second rounders.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) July 19, 2018
So to recap:
Atlanta sends point guard Dennis Schroder to Oklahoma City, Mike Muscala to Philadelphia, and recieves Anthony who they then waive. For their troubles, they wind up with a protected first-round pick from Oklahoma City and Justin Anderson. This transaction will not only clear up future cap space for the Hawks, but it will free up a starting point guard role for rookie Trae Young.
Oklahoma City effectively uses a lottery-protected first-round pick to save over $73 million in luxury tax penalties and add a talented, young point guard in Schroder to back up Russell Westbrook.
Philadelphia grabs a big-man shooter in Mike Muscala that they’ve been looking for since since they lost Ersan Ilyasova and were spurned by Nemanja Bjelica.
Once Carmelo is officially waived by Atlanta, he will be free to sign with any team. The Heat and Rockets will pursue the forward, with the latter as the expected front-runners.