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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Oklahoma City made trade talks with Houston and Miami during Summer League about trading Carmelo Anthony.

Within those trade talks, Anthony has told Oklahoma City he will waive the No Trade Clause to give Oklahoma City a better opportunity to trade his $27.9 million contract he opted into in June.

Anthony’s contract, while massive in just dollar amount, is even more so when you factor in the tax that comes with it for Oklahoma City. Since Oklahoma City is a repeat payer of the luxury tax, they must pay a “repeater” fee. They’re paying $4.75 per dollar over the luxury tax line. All of this has pushed their tax bill to $150 million, which is more than their actual salary totals.

Anthony’s contract, with salary and tax is holding $132.5 million for the Thunder. If Oklahoma City waived Melo and stretched out his contract over the life of three seasons, it would save them over $100 in luxury tax alone for the upcoming season. They would still have to pay $9.3 million per season over the next three.

Houston has not been shy in their courting of Oklahoma City and Anthony. With Luc A Mbah Moute going to the Clippers and Trevor Ariza going to the Suns, their very thin bench is already lacking at the three spot, which would be an immediate fit for Anthony.

Miami has been looking to unload some players who aren’t in their future. The first that comes to mind is Dion Wiaters and James Johnson. They’re cheaper and they provide a long term stability for the Thunder at the two and four positions. I’m sure Oklahoma City would have to provide some assets to off load Anthony’s contract.

Houston is another team mentioned by Woj. It’s unknown what the Thunder would get in return as the Rockets only have 11 players on their roster at this moment.

While they haven’t been mentioned, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be a real target if Anthony wanted to waive the NTC to anyone. The money works and the Thunder are probably more inclined with eating that money for a player who’s actually a fit for the fast paced offense they would want to play this season. It’s unknown if Anthony waive it for every team or if he’s being selective on which teams are available for trade.

Wojnarowski said said the Thunder are looking to move him within the next 7-10 days.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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