The Thunder finally got rid of Carmelo Anthony in a three-team trade. Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick are going to Atlanta, Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder is going to the Thunder, Atlanta’s Mike Muscala is going to Philly, Philly’s Timothe Luwawu-Cabarot is going to OKC, and Philly’s Justin Anderson is going to Atlanta.
Of course, Melo is the big name in the trade, and his offseason is probably the biggest story remaining. The Thunder wanted to get rid of him through trade as that saves them over $100 million.
The Hawks will buy him out, meaning they pay him his full $27.9 million and he becomes an unrestricted free agent. He will most likely sign with the Rockets, but a few other teams could be in the mix.
Should teams want Melo though?
When a player of his history and offensive ability gets traded and then waived to shed cap space, something is really off. In most cases, it’s injury. But that’s not the case here.
Melo has always been a very selfish player and a ball stopper, meaning he’ll stop the offensive flow to take the shot. When he still played in Denver, he was good enough to justify that, but that faded during his time on the Knicks.
Now, he is a cancer and has no interest in being a good team member. He is only a good addition if he can fit into a system where he comes off the bench and is used for his scoring ability only.
He’s a decent three-point shooter, and might still have some post-game left. If he plays for the system, he can certainly be a good scoring option off the bench, and someone to keep defenses away from the paint. However, if he doesn’t fully accept that role immediately, he shouldn’t play in the NBA ever again.
Getting rid of Melo isn’t the only good news for OKC. They got a very good backup guard in Dennis Schroder. Don’t forget that the Hawks traded away Jeff Teague a few years ago as they decided that Schroder was the future.
Since then, they fell apart, but he hasn’t. Last year, he averaged over 19 ppg, 6 assists while shooting 47 percent from the field. He is in no way a star player, but he can certainly run the offense off the bench, which means Russell Westbrook can play less.
Now, him becoming a useful contributor to the Thunder depends very strongly on their system, Westbrook, and coach Billy Donovan. There is a reason many plays see their production go down when playing with Westbrook, or see their production go up when they leave. There is also a reason he hasn’t made it past the first round in the last two years (since KD left).
Westbrook is a very talented and athletic player, but an awful team basketball player. We have seen many times that the team becomes too reliant on his play, and that tires him out for the end of games. Not only has he been a negative, but the blame also falls on Billy Donovan for allowing the team to prioritize Westbrook’s stats over team performance.
Schroder gives a viable scoring option off the bench, but it’s up to the team to use him properly. If Schroder is able to fit in smoothly, this trade becomes a great move for the Thunder. Otherwise, it’ll save them money but won’t help them play any better.
For advertising and sponsorship opportunities with The Game Changer Sports Network please contact Jake at Jake.Jollymore@Gmail.com
Featured Photo Credit: Daily Thunder