Oklahoma City's Carmelo Anthony (7) holds the ball as Houston's PJ Tucker (4) defends during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017.
Executives are reportedly working on a solution that could see the team freed of Anthony's costly expiring contract, looking to offload the deal to a rival that would likely see Anthony waived to enter free agency.
Anthony opted into his $27.9 million contract for the 2018-19 season with the Thunder, but he's unlikely to stay due to the fact his scaled-back role with the team right now isn't what he wants.
Anthony has a no-trade clause in which he can veto any potential trade destination.
There you have it. As their roster now sits, the Thunder would owe approximately $310 million in salary and luxury tax next season which would be a record.
James's Los Angeles Lakers could also offer Anthony a possible way out of Oklahoma while remaining Banana Boat buddy Wade would also relish the chance to play alongside the former Denver Nugget in South Beach.
Multiple teams are planning ahead for the summer of 2019 in which the free agent class will be stronger. However, this would do little to ease the Thunder's tax burdens, so such a move makes little sense unless Sam Presti can find someone willing to part with a player that would move the needle next season and beyond. Further reports have now suggested we're moving closer to that eventuality. This chapter should come to its unceremonious ending in short order.