Hawks complete buyout of Carmelo Anthony setting the path for him to sign with Houston

2018 USA Basketball Men's National Team Minicamp

The strange summer saga of Carmelo Anthony finally seems to have an end in sight as the former Knicks and Thunder star's buyout was finalised by the Atlanta Hawks, Monday. 

Anthony was traded by OKC to to Atlanta as part of a three team deal with the Sixers earlier this month that saw PG Dennis Schroder link up with the Thunder. 

After a rather bizarre season in OKC alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George, a pairing that Melo simply did not gel with at all, the former scoring champ looks to have found a preferable landing spot. 

The deal is clearly regrettable for Sam Presti and the Thunder but shipping Anthony on this summer has saved them a huge luxury tax bill and Schroder will provide the second unit with a viable floor general who can score the ball and thus take pressure off Russell Westbrook to constantly be on the floor. 

Anthony posted a series of career lows in his one season in Oklahoma City, including points per game (16.2), assists per game (1.3), free throw percentage (76.6) and field goal percentage (40.4). 

The 34-year-old is set to clear waivers after finalising his buyout that will see him net a handy $27.9 million, though he's set to pay $2.4 million of that sum back in order to allow for a team to pay him a veterans minimum salary.

The Houston Rockets are expected to be the only team that pursue his services, and Anthony will inform them if he intends to sign in 48 hours per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Houston has been a suitor since last summer before the 10-time All Star was traded to the Thunder and it signing with them will meet a long desired goal for Anthony to play with longtime friend Chris Paul. 

The ageing star will have to play third fiddle again though, behind Paul and reigning MVP James Harden, and his unwillingness to come off the bench or compromise on his role could lead his addition to cause similar issues that it did in OKC. 

His play is clearly in decline, and though he can still score the ball effectively, his lack or efficiency from beyond the arc and rapidly eroding athleticism make him far more useful as a role player. 

Whether he accepts the role of a third or fourth option at times remains to be seen, but if Mike D'Antoni and co can get him on board the Rockets could be even more dangerous as a title threat in 2019. 

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