It seems inevitable that Carmelo Anthony will join the Houston Rockets this offseason. The next step in that process came to fruition Monday, as Melo and the Atlanta Hawks finalized the buyout that was widely expected. The Hawks acquired Melo two weeks ago in a trade with Oklahoma City that sent Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala to the Thunder.
Melo will still get his money, though—the Hawks are eating the vast majority of his hefty salary. Melo will now hit the waiver wire and then, reportedly, officially join the Rockets.
Carmelo Anthony has finalized buyout with the Atlanta Hawks, giving back $2.4M of his $27.9M salary, league sources tell ESPN. That's veteran's minimum he'll get back with new team. Anthony will wait to clear waivers in 48 hours to officially tell Rockets of intentions to sign.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 30, 2018
The Hawks will place Anthony on waivers within the hour, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/zzJ39CZoPp— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 30, 2018
Melo waived his no-trade clause to facilitate his deal to Atlanta, but he almost certainly did so because he knew the Hawks had no plans of holding onto him. Houston, which touts Melo's buddies Chris Paul and James Harden, emerged as a suitor early this month.
Could this situation lead to Melo finally making a deep playoff run, and maybe even adding a title to his legacy? Though the Warriors are the overwhelming favorite, Melo certainly has a shot with Houston. Bovada currently has the Rockets as the No. 4 favorite to win the 2019 title.