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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

Quo vadis, Melo?

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
19 Nov 2018



Don’t look now but Carmelo Anthony could be in a freezer until February next year if he intends to continue with his NBA career.

The Houston Rockets, where he’s supposed to be playing, had announced that Anthony will not return to the team despite remaining on the roster, which, actually, could have opened the door to him to find a new team.

Problem is, there are no clear suitors and may not be for a while. One Western Conference executive told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that a certain Western Conference executive told him that Anthony cannot find a new team until after the trade deadline, which doesn’t arrive until next Feb. 7.

There are several reasons why Anthony finds himself in this situation. First, it’s early in the season and teams aren’t looking to significantly change their rosters right now.

In addition, Anthony’s poor season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, compounded with his mediocre start to this season with the Rockets, have led to questions about how useful and effective he’d be.

The Rockets openly admitted that Anthony wasn’t a good fit with the team. A lot of other teams, at least at this point, seem to feel the same way about him with their rosters.

The Rockets, meanwhile, issued a somewhat unusual announcement on Thursday saying they were parting ways with Carmelo Anthony, but GM Daryl Morey added, the club is still “working toward a resolution” on the situation.

In other words, “parted ways” isn’t actually a euphemism for “waived” in this case — Anthony is still technically on Houston’s roster, just not with the team.

While it may seem odd for the Rockets not to just request waivers on Anthony and move on from the situation entirely, there are a handful of reasons why it makes sense for the team to hold off on such a move.

For one, waiving Carmelo could lead to an unfavorable outcome for either the Rockets or Anthony — if he goes unclaimed on waivers, Houston would be on the hook for his entire salary and the tax penalties that will come along with it.

On the other hand, if Anthony is claimed off waivers, taking his contract off the Rockets’ books, he could end up being acquired by a team he has no interest in joining, eliminating his ability to pick his new club.

Although most players go unclaimed on waivers, Anthony’s contract is pretty claim-friendly. The league’s waiver rules allow any team to use the minimum salary exception to place a claim on a player who is on a one-year, minimum salary contract.

Only the Thunder and Hawks would face restrictions on Anthony, since they recently traded him and bought him out, respectively. Any other club could theoretically put in a claim.

Finding a trade partner willing to take on Anthony would be the easiest way to avoid waivers altogether and to create a win-win situation for the team and the player. The Rockets could send Anthony to a team he’s interested in joining and clear his contract from their cap at the same time, reducing their tax bill.


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