Earlier this week, Carmelo Anthony was introduced as the newest member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. But he very easily could have been introduced as the newest member of the Cleveland Cavaliers or Houston Rockets. At least, that’s according to Melo himself.
Anthony was speaking with SiriusXM Radio about the end of his embattled time with the New York Knicks and the beginning of his next chapter when he dropped a couple bombshells about two deals that fell apart long before this one came together.
First, Melo said that the Knicks and Rockets had a handshake agreement early in the offseason.
“A deal was done with Houston early, then for some reason, whatever happened behind the scenes, it didn’t go through. It fell through, then we had to really start paying attention and thinking about other options.”
Then, Anthony says that he expected to head to Cleveland on draft night in a blockbuster deal that would have sent both him and Paul George to the Cavs.
“Actually, it was funny because me and [Paul George] was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night, We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done, and it got called off on draft night, so me and [George] stayed connected throughout the course of the [offseason]. We never even talked about OKC, though.”
George, of course, ended up in Oklahoma City via trade instead. And now, Anthony joins him and Russell Westbrook there as the latest superteam attempts to dethrone the Golden State Warriors.
Carmelo said that after the fallout from the previous deals he didn’t think he’d end up leaving New York before the season started. Ultimately, however, he felt as though the situation would have been uncomfortable for everyone and it was best to move on.
“I don’t think it would have been beneficial for me to come back to media day after everything that was going on in the offseason,” Anthony told SiriusXM. “For me to have to deal with that, it would have been unfair for the organization, the Knicks, to have to deal with that. It would have been too much noise, too many questions to answer, and I don’t think either party wanted to deal with that.”
And so, he waived his no-trade clause and even waived a trade kicker worth $8.1 million in order to make the deal happen.