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Melo set for free agency

NEW YORK (AFP) – Carmelo Anthony will become a free agent after being a key figure in a three-team NBA trade Thursday involving the Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers, according to reports.

The 34-year-old forward, a three-time Olympic champion for the United States and 10-team NBA All-Star, will be paid his entire $27.9 million contract and have the freedom to join any club, with the Houston Rockets reportedly in hot pursuit.

According to ESPN and Yahoo Sports, the deal will see the Thunder send Anthony and a 2022 first-round NBA Draft pick to Atlanta for German guard Dennis Schroder and forward Mike Muscala.

The Hawks will then buy out Anthony’s contract and release him, making him a free agent provided he clears waivers, a likely move since few teams could afford to absorb the financial burden of his 2018-19 salary.

Then under the overall deal, Muscala will go to the 76ers and Philadelphia will send forward Justin Anderson to Atlanta and French swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to Oklahoma City.

The complex maneuver came about because Anthony opted in to his contract with the Thunder, but they wanted to part ways with the 15-season NBA veteran.

The move lets the Thunder save some money under NBA salary cap rules, almost $100 million according to ESPN, and gives Anthony not only the money but free agency.

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