One step closer.
Marc Stein is reporting that Carmelo Anthony will officially sign with the Houston Rockets after the Atlanta Hawks release him and he clears waivers.
Melo has done everything except write his John Hancock on the dotted line. He is going to become a Rocket.
A couple of business things have to be taken care of first before he officially becomes a Rocket, however. First, the three-team trade between OKC, Atlanta and Philadelphia must be approved. In the trade, a 2022 first-rounder from OKC, Anthony and Justin Anderson were sent to Atlanta, Mike Muscala was sent to Philadelphia, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabbarot will head to Oklahoma City.
Once that is confirmed, Anthony will be waived by Atlanta. This is key because he is being waived as opposed to being bought out. This means that the Hawks will be paying Melo $27.9 million to not play for them next year. Talk about securing the bag.
Atlanta’s choice to waive Melo really helps the Rockets out because it allows them to use the mid-level exception for another move and give the Rockets some breathing room. It may not be utilized in the offseason, but they could possibly go after a player at February’s trade deadline or buyout market that fits that salary.
Once Melo clears waivers, which takes 48 hours, it will grant him free agency and the ability to sign with the Houston Rockets for a league-minimum $2.4 million. Adding it all up, Melo will be making just over $30 million next year, with the Rockets only paying a small fraction. He will be making just a couple thousand dollars less than James Harden.
The 2009 versions of ourselves should be geeking out. Carmelo Anthony, who took his Denver Nuggets to the Conference Finals, is joining 23-year old point guard phenom Chris Paul and third overall pick in the NBA Draft James Harden on the same team. We may not be getting the version of the team we would have gotten ten years ago, but at this price, this is certainly a win for the Rockets.