PBT Extra: Carmelo Anthony will be a Rocket, but will he accept new role?

1 Comment

Carmelo Anthony will be a Houston Rocket soon.

How smoothly things go this season with him is another question entirely, something I get into a little in this latest PBT Extra. However, after a three-team trade involving Atlanta, Oklahoma City, and Philadelphia was agreed to in principle, it’s just a matter of time. Anthony is being traded to the Hawks, who will waive him, making him a free agent.

Then he signs with James Harden, Chris Paul, and the rest of the Rockets. Oklahoma City gets Dennis Schroder, another guy who will have to accept a new role. Philly adds some shooting. Watch the video above for a breakdown.

Report: Thunder trading Carmelo Anthony, first-rounder to Hawks for Dennis Schroder

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
13 Comments

The Thunder were going to cut loose Carmelo Anthony.

The Hawks were determined to trade Dennis Schroder.

The 76ers needed a stretch four after Nemanja Bjelica backed out of his deal.

Hence…

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Royce Young of ESPN:

The Thunder save money in this trade next year by going from Anthony to Schroder. But they could have saved far more simply by stretching Anthony themselves.

Stretching Anthony would have meant a cap hit of $9,309,380 each of the next three seasons. Instead, Oklahoma City will pay Schroder $15.5 million each of the next three seasons.

Why increase that financial burden?

Schroder is an intriguing backup to Russell Westbrook and just 24. Even if he’s overpaid and facing the prospect of felony battery charge, he can play. Anthony’s stretched cap hit can’t. Raymond Felton provided steady backup-point guard minutes last season and re-signed, but he’s 34. Oklahoma City can’t rely on him forever.

The Thunder might have viewed Schroder as worth the difference between his salary and Anthony’s stretched cap hit, and there’s some logic to that. But if Oklahoma City tries to flip Schroder down the road, potential trade partners will evaluate his full salary.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot isn’t nothing, either. The 23-year-old former first-rounder is a project with 3-and-D potential.

On the other hand, the Thunder also surrender a potential first-round pick in the deal. And with Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams locked into lucrative contracts, the upcoming season isn’t the only one Oklahoma City must worry about the repeater luxury tax. Schroder’s future salary could become extremely burdensome.

In a pure basketball sense, this trade could make sense for the Thunder. Anthony didn’t fit, and Schroder brings more talent and has a clearer role. Luwawu-Cabarrot has upside. A lottery-protected pick could warrant going from Anthony to Schroder and Luwawu-Cabarrot, though that’s far from certainly worth it.

But I especially wonder about the long-term financial cost. Will Schroder’s salary the following couple years eventually lead ownership to cut costs and shed better players? If Clay Bennett’s willingness to pay extends beyond the following season, more power to him.

And more power to Anthony, who gets all his money and free agency. Expect him to sign with the Rockets once Atlanta waives him.

The Hawks – nowhere near the luxury tax, let alone the repeater tax – could handle waiving Anthony more easily than the Thunder could have. They get a nice draft pick for their trouble – and to unload Schroder.

Schroder was a leftover from the previous Atlanta regime, and Travis Schlenk is ready to build around Trae Young at point guard. Jeremy Lin is the stopgap veteran backup. There was no place for Schroder.

Justin Anderson only adds to the Hawks’ return. It might be getting late quick for the 24-year-old, but he’s strong and athletic. If he improves his shot, he could be a very helpful 3-and-D player. There’s such a premium on wings, it’s well worth betting on developing him – especially for a rebuilding team like Atlanta.

The 76ers have shifted into winning mode, and Mike Muscala should help. He’s a good 3-point shooter for a big and capable of defending inside and out. Philadelphia adds no long-term cost, as Muscala is entering the final year of his contract with a $5 million salary.

The 76ers also clear a roster spot in the 2-for-1 swap, which could lead to last year’s second-rounder, Jonah Bolden, signing.

Report: Before trading Jeremy Lin to Hawks, Nets were concerned about his readiness for season

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Leave a comment

Jeremy Lin missed 127 games the last two years, including the last 81 last season. And the Nets – before trading Lin to Atlanta – apparently weren’t convinced he’d be fully healthy next season.

Brian Lewis of the New York Post:

there was internal concern about whether he would have been ready for the start of camp

The Hawks had a right to give Lin a physical before finalizing the trade. Every indication is they did and he passed.

So, maybe Brooklyn was overly worried. Or maybe Atlanta looked past concerns to acquire a name player. We’ll probably never know. Sometimes, players with sound bills of health get hurt. Sometimes, players with medical red flags don’t. The outcome for Lin next season won’t necessarily prove anything.

The prevailing opinion is the Hawks acquired Lin as an attention-grabber. They already have their point guard of the future in Trae Young, and Dennis Schroderwho’s firmly on the trade block – could have easily handled remaining minutes at the position. Atlanta could have used its cap space to gain extra picks in a salary dump with the Nuggets, but instead allowed the Nets to make that trade by taking Lin off their hands.

It isn’t necessarily the “wrong” move. I would have rather gotten the picks, but I’m not the one who makes money on Hawks ticket sales and TV ratings. I get the appeal of Lin.

But that works only if he stays healthy.

At least the other element of making Lin the draw – that he isn’t good enough to undermine tanking – would hold up if he gets hurt.

Report: Jeremy Lin acquisition expedites Hawks trading Dennis Schroder

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Leave a comment

After drafting point guard Trae Young, the Hawks said they’d keep incumbent starting point guard Dennis Schroder.

But Atlanta trading for another point guard, Jeremy Lin, has blown the lid off that obvious ruse.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

However, the deal for Lin probably will expedite a Schroder trade this summer, league sources said.

Schroder would probably welcome a trade at this point.

But who will take him? He’s due $46.5 million over the next three years and also faces the prospect of felony battery charge. He’s talented and just 24, but that’s a lot to swallow.

I wouldn’t have been surprised if Atlanta just stuck Schroder deep on the bench behind the better Lin and more promising Young. But it appears an actual Schroder trade is forthcoming.

Jeremy Lin reportedly traded to Atlanta Hawks

Getty Images
3 Comments

The Atlanta Hawks have Trae Young as their point guard of the future, now they may be turning to Jeremy Lin to bridge the gap (and that can’t be good news for Dennis Schroder).

Brooklyn has agreed to send Lin to Atlanta, which has the cap space to absorb him, and they are swapping second-round picks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

For the Nets, this is about clearing cap space. They are going to have the space to offer two max contracts next summer.

Lin played in just one game last season due to injury. He is owed $12.5 million this season.

Lin would work as a secondary point guard with the Hawks with Young, as he adapts to the NBA. They could move him in another trade package immediately, but that’s not the plan.

There is little chance the Hawks will keep Schroder, Lin, and Young on the roster this fall. The Hawks have tested the trade market for Schroder, but he is owed three-years, $46.5 million, and does not have the best reputation as a teammate. That has made the trade market for him thin. They are going to push that now.

Other moves are coming from the Hawks. This, however, is a solid one.