The Thunder’s aggressive summer of recruitment has pushed their payroll to an historic $310m – the highest in NBA history – with the team facing an eye-watering luxury tax bill if roster moves are not made in the coming weeks.
Earlier this summer, Anthony opted into his near-$28m contract for the forthcoming season, ending hopes that he would leave the team during free agency after a poor season in Oklahoma.
But, according to a new report from ESPN insiders Royce Young and Adrian Wojnarowski, the Thunder are looking into ways to relieve themselves of his services.
“Oklahoma City can use the stretch provision on Anthony’s $27.9 million contract to eliminate a staggering $107 million off the team’s 2018-19 payroll and tax bill, but the Thunder first plan to pursue trade possibilities with teams looking to acquire a massive expire deal to salary cap space in July 2019 free agency,” the report read.
“Anthony still holds trade veto power, but it’s likely that any proposed deal would be with a team wanting simply to waive Anthony and allow him into free agency.”
Anthony, a four-time Olympic gold medallist and 10-time All-Star, is close friends with new Laker LeBron James.
Along with Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade, the pair make up the so-called “Banana Boat” crew of the NBA.
The Lakers, who are in need of veteran leadership in a youthful locker room, could be a good fit for Anthony, while also allowing the 34-year-old to play with James during his first season in LA.
But fans were less than thrilled at the thought, taking to social media to air their grievances today.
“As long as we don’t touch him with a 10 foot pole, I don’t care,” read one comment.
Another said: “Please stay far, far away from LA.”
However, others were more optimistic about the possibility, with one fan writing: “I’m actually pretty excited about potentially getting him.
“LeBron won’t put up with his iso s***, and he can make the minimum, on the bench, mentoring Kuzma.
“Remember, two years ago he was considered a superstar still, I think if he gets a fresh new start in a big city he might play well.”
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