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Report: Thunder, Carmelo Anthony to part ways

Carmelo Anthony's hefty contract is expected to result in him parting ways with the Thunder, allowing him to land with a team like the Rockets or Lakers.

Carmelo Anthony thoroughly and publicly rebuked the Thunder for how they used him.

He also exercised his $27,928,140 player option with Oklahoma City.

But apparently Anthony will get (at least most of) his money and get to pick his team, too.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young of ESPN:

The massive financial implications of Anthony opting into his $27.9 million contract for the 2018-19 season -- coupled with a mutual understanding that his scaled back role isn’t what he had signed up for to play with Oklahoma City -- have dictated that the two sides will part ways sometime this summer, league sources told ESPN.

Stretching Anthony would put Oklahoma City in line to save $98,016,437 in luxury-tax payments next season. Dumping him outright in a trade would drop Oklahoma City’s slated tax bill by $132,354,122.

The upside of stretching him: The Thunder could do so unilaterally, maybe in conjunction with him accepting a buyout that increases their savings further. The downside of stretching him: The Thunder would still have to pay him over the next three years, and his cap hit each of those seasons – $9,309,380 (minus potential buyout savings) – would count toward the cap and luxury tax.

The upside of trading him in a straight salary dump: The savings would be larger, and he’d be completely off Oklahoma City’s books. The downside of trading him in a straight salary dump: It’d require major sweeteners to get another team to take Anthony.

So, Oklahoma City must assess how much Anthony would surrender in a buyout to hit free agency and how much other teams would demand to accept him in a trade. But it’s clear, one way or another, the Thunder will find a resolution that ends with Anthony gone.

Expect rumors to follow about Anthony joining LeBron James with the Lakers.