Carmelo Anthony is currently a part of the most-expensive team in NBA history. The Oklahoma City Thunder have become the first team to hit the $300 million mark. OKC signed veteran point guard Raymond Felton on Tuesday night, surpassing the 300,000,000 line.
What does this mean for Carmelo? Well, it could mean he's not going to be part of the Thunder's 2018-19 team.
Anthony is set to make $27.9 million this season, opting into the final year of his contract late last month.
The former All-Star forward is no longer a $27.9 million player, despite being paid that much. The Thunder could save a lot of money by moving on from him.
Oklahoma City has a couple of different options. One is attempting to trade him, though that seems unlikely.
Another is stretching Anthony's contract over multiple years, lessening the tax bill. SB Nation pointed out how this could work:
So the $27.9 million owed to Anthony would be represented on the books as $9.3 million in 2018-19, $9.3 million in 2019-20, and $9.3 million in 2020-21. If the Thunder keep Melo around or waive him without using the stretch provision, his cap hit would be $27.9 million in 2018-19 and $0 going forward.
By using the stretch provision, the Thunder would avoid the huge luxury tax pain this season at the cost of limiting salary cap flexibility for two future years.
Stretching Anthony's contract like that would save the Thunder roughly $91 million in tax penalties. That's...quite a lot.
The Lakers have been mentioned as a possible option for Anthony if he does leave the Thunder. Joining LeBron James in Los Angeles does make sense.