When it was announced that Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder would be parting ways, contenders came calling. Teams like the Rockets or Sixers expressed interest in the 34-year old. However, his $27.9 million a year salary might be too large for these teams to take in.
This is where the Atlanta Hawks come in.
Oklahoma City and Atlanta in trade talks, with Thunder targeting Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, per sources. Carmelo Anthony would go to Atlanta, with Hawks doing buyout. Atl looking to add asset to make Melo’s buyout a wash. Getting rid of Schroder is No. 1 priority.— Mitch Lawrence (@Mitch_Lawrence) July 18, 2018
This would be helpful to the Thunder, who only have the aging Raymond Felton as their backup to Russell Westbrook. Schroder would add 19.3 points to a bench that only mustered 25.7 last year. His 6.2 assists last year would open up opportunities for the Thunder's other bench players.
Muscala would give them depth and much-needed shooting at the power forward spot, as he shot 37.1 percent from the arc last year.
schroder off the bench would be amazing, potential 6th man of the year tbh— MY ACCOUNT GOT LOCKED (@SteeInationmut) July 18, 2018
The Hawks, who already have the recently-acquired Jeremy Lin and recently-drafted Trae Young on their roster, would have a more clear, depth chart at the point guard position. But in order to orchestrate the costly buyout of Melo's contract, the Hawks would want an asset, preferably a young player or draft pick, in addition to Melo.
The Thunder would be unwise to trade Jerami Grant or Alex Abrines, as they are solid young bench pieces. Perhaps they part with Terrance Ferguson, a 20-year old shooting guard. If they like Ferguson too much, maybe they give up their 2019 first-round pick.
The Hawks would then buyout Melo's contract and he would become a free agent, likely to sign with the Rockets.