Message to all Atlanta Hawks fans: Don’t go getting your hoodies in a bunch. A trade for Oklahoma City small forward Carmelo Anthony would only lead to a buyout.
There have been rumors that the Hawks are close (or as close as internet rumors go) to a trade with the OKC Thunder, sending Dennis Schroder and forward Mike Muscala, a fan favorite, to Oklahoma City for Anthony.
Muscala would be a casualty of his one-year contract with the team and Schroder, owed almost $46 million, the big fish of the deal. Anthony, who is owed nearly $28 million for the final year of his current contract, would be too much salary for the Hawks to take on in what is clearly a rebuilding year.
Simply put, trading for Anthony, 33, is strictly for salary cap purposes. The Hawks would buy Anthony out while also being rid of Schroder’s contract (3 years, $46.5).
With forward Kent Bazemore’s contract done in two years and center DeWayne Dedmon off the books after the 2018-19 season, the Hawks GM Travis Schlenk and first-year coach Lloyd Pierce will be in one of the best salary situations in the league.
The recent trade for point guard Jeremy Lin (1 year remaining at $13.8) leaves the team with three quality lead guards and all need to play in order to be the most effective (there are no bench mavens like veterans guards Jamal Crawford and Atlanta area native Lou Williams on this roster).
Lin jerseys (disregard the above jersey number) are already being sold on online and Trae Young is plastered all over electronic billboards around town leaving little room for Schroder.
Trading Schroder may not make the most sense statistically (He lead the team in scoring and assists last season) but it does financially.
A trade for Carmelo Anthony makes sense financially too, he gets bought out, and both parties can move into the 2018-19 season knowing that they will be free to continue plans for the future.