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Carmelo Anthony Rumors: Thunder Allow Star to Meet with Rockets, Heat, More

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2018

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Denver. The Nuggets won 102-94. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Oklahoma City Thunder have allowed Carmelo Anthony to meet with the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and other teams ahead of his likely departure, ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday.

Marc Stein of the New York Times added "a precise timetable for how quickly Anthony can secure his exit from Oklahoma City, most likely via buyout, is not yet clear. But, at this point, it would be a full-fledged surprise if he doesn't wind up with the Rockets."

Wojnarowski and colleague Royce Young reported the Thunder have been working with Anthony's representatives to finalize either a trade or buyout.

Wojnarowski reported the Thunder are considering one scenario in which they'd trade Anthony to a team that would immediately waive him, thus making him a free agent.

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni worked with Anthony for parts of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons during their time with the New York Knicks. D'Antoni told ESPN The Magazine's Tim Keown he quit when Anthony told the team either he or the head coach had to go.

According to Wojnarowski, D'Antoni addressed that issue with Anthony and said the Rockets present the two with a far different atmosphere than they had in New York.

While Anthony is a questionable fit in Houston, the team is in desperate need of adding another forward this summer. Trevor Ariza signed with the Phoenix Suns, and Wojnarowski reported the Los Angeles Clippers agreed to a one-year deal with Luc Mbah a Moute.

The Rockets are nearly $16.1 million over the salary cap, so their options to replace Ariza and Mbah a Moute are limited. Houston still has the $5.3 million mid-level exception available, which would allow the team to at least bring Anthony aboard.