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Report: Carmelo Anthony traded to Atlanta Hawks, will be waived

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The Thunder found compensation in Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala for Carmelo Anthony. The Hawks are expected to waive him and make him a free agent within the next few days.

NBA: Playoffs-Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony’s landing in Atlanta for a layover.

In a long-awaited move, the Oklahoma City Thunder rid themselves of the former Syracuse Orange star’s large contract, though not through expected means. The Atlanta Hawks, owners of most of the cap space remaining in basketball this summer, will facilitate the waiving of his contract. Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the trade.

In return, the Thunder will acquire Dennis Schroder to add to their back court depth. Atlanta had been trying to offload his contract as they develop Trae Young and continue their rebuild. He’s owed $15-million each of the next three seasons, so OKC takes on $45-million in the long term to rid themselves of Anthony’s $28-million owed this year.

Mike Muscala, an expiring $5-million contract, heads to Oklahoma as well. He’ll be routed to Philadelphia.

The resolution of the summer of Melo figures to take the next step deeper into next week as Woj reported that this complicated trade will take time to finalize. In the meantime OKC had granted him permission to court free agent suitors, which he’s done in meeting with the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets in Las Vegas.

This trade is a godsend for OKC’s finances. They had planned on stretching his contract, which would’ve been immediate relief in exchange for the pain of seeing Anthony’s segmented salary on the books year after year. Atlanta will eat the entirety of his deal, which will save the organization roughly $73-million between salary and the league’s multiplied repeater tax penalty on luxury tax paying teams that sit above the threshold for three out of four years.

For those troubles the Thunder, tossed in a 2022 first-round pick that is lottery (1-14) protected, per Royce Young. Analysts predicted the resolution of the “one and done” rule recently around that range, but the latest reports figure that date will be kicked back to later in next decade.

Wojnarowski reported that the Rockets are frontrunners to add him to their roster. TNIAAM analyzed that and other possibilities this week.