The Atlanta Hawks have flown in out of nowhere and are now in talks to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Oklahoma Thunder and buy him out. Will they be able to pull off the steal and get some much needed cap room available?
No, the Hawks don’t want to acquire Anthony so he can play for them. They aren’t stupid, they know that Anthony will hinder the growth of their younger players. Instead, they will trade away Dennis Schroder and will have to also part ways with Mike Muscala in order to land Anthony.
This seems like a blessing for the Thunder because they didn’t have any takers a few days ago and had to buy out Anthony themselves. It wouldn’t hurt them too much because they can spread his contract over the span of three years and only pay about $8 million a year. Instead, the Hawks want to do a salary dump and take the hit.
For the Hawks, it makes sense. They aren’t going to win anytime soon and they also can get rid of Schroder and let their young players get more minutes. It is sad because the Hawks got rid of Jeff teague for Schroder and now they are getting rid of him too. Oklahoma wants to win now and by not taking Anthony’s contract, they can spend that money on other players.
Last week, Atlanta traded for Jeremy Lin. That was a sign that Schroder was on his way out. Some people will say the Hawks were in rebuilding mode when they drafted Trae Young. I thought they would eventually trade Schroder but they aren’t waiting at all. They want to start over now and taking Anthony’s contract will help them.
Tanking is something that the NBA does not like. The Hawks will counter that by being bad. By taking Anthony’s contract, they will have less money for great role players. Instead, they plan to lose and get lottery picks. It is a great strategy and the Philadelphia 76ers have proven that it works when you draft well.
Getting Schroder will give the Thunder depth and improve their offense. It will hurt them when it comes to size because Schroder is a small player. I can see the Thunder playing him and Russell Westbrook together for an up-tempo offense. It will be a fun product on the floor but it will collapse in the playoffs and the Thunder will have another early exit next year if they do end up doing this.
If they Thunder so pull off this trade, they will be getting an early Christmas gift. It looks like it will go through because the Hawks will also win with this trade. Nobody wins more than Anthony who will get free money coming his way over the next couple of years.