The wait is over.
On Saturday, the New York Knicks traded Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick (via the Chicago Bulls), as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Melo waived his no-trade clause to make the deal happen and Wojnarowski also noted that he waived his $8.1 million trade kicker as well.
Per Woj, Anthony would have only waived his no-trade clause for the Thunder, Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers.
Anthony joins reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and Paul George in one of the NBA’s most dynamic "Big Three" situations. Both of those players had a huge part in recruiting Melo to waive his no trade clause, via Wojnarowski’s report.
While the deal seemed to come out of left field, it had actually been in the works for a number of weeks.
“Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Knicks GM Scott Perry had been talking on and off about a possible deal for weeks,” Woj explained. “Talks intensified in the 24 hours before Saturday's agreement, league sources said. As training camp loomed next week, Perry increasingly wanted no part of the circus that awaited his franchise with media day and Anthony's arrival both on Monday. Around the organization and Anthony, there was a belief that the unresolved saga would become a suffocating daily issue… Perry started to feel the urgency of making a deal on Friday, and engaged Oklahoma City in more serious dialogue, league sources said.”
According to Wojnarowski, a deal was in place to send Anthony to the Portland Trail Blazers, where he would have joined Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, but he did not want to make such a dramatic move across the country.
The Knicks were also reportedly willing to trade Melo to the Rockets for a package that included Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza, but Houston rejected that idea multiple times, wanting to include Ryan Anderson’s giant contract instead.
The Cavaliers’ package reportedly involved Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye and would have never included Brooklyn’s first-round pick that the Boston Celtics just traded them.
While the rest of Oklahoma City’s roster might not be strong enough to regard the team as a major contender in the West, it’s a star-driven league and the Thunder now have three of them on their squad.
The Knicks can finally close the chapter on Carmelo and will move forward in their rebuilding process without him.