NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new team being mentioned as a possible landing spot for Carmelo Anthony.
On Monday, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder and Anthony are “circling each other.”
Anthony had previously told the Knicks he’d waive his no-trade clause to join the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Rockets appearing to be his preferred destination.
There is a link between Anthony and the Thunder — Oklahoma City’s assistant general manager, Troy Weaver, recruited him to Syracuse.
In Oklahoma City, Anthony would join reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and newly acquired forward Paul George, a four-time All-Star. Last season, the Thunder went 47-35 before being eliminated by the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.
Of course, it’s not clear how committed the Knicks are to trading Anthony at this point. Former team president Phil Jackson was determined to deal the 10-time All-Star, but since the promotion of Steve Mills from general manager to president and the hiring of new GM Scott Perry, the Knicks have backed away from trade talks involving Anthony.
“Our view is if there’s an opportunity that works for Carmelo and works for us, then we’ll look at some kind of trade,” Mills said last week. “But we also feel that Carmelo Anthony could easily be a part of our team next year.”
However, Anthony, who was initially resistant to the idea of waiving his no-trade clause, is now reportedly set on leaving New York.
He is owed $26.2 million this season and has a $27.9 million player option for 2018-19. Anthony’s contract also includes an $8.1 million trade kicker, but ESPN reported last week that he is willing to waive that money to help facilitate a trade.