Carmelo to leave Thunder, Heat are 'interesting landing spot,' says report


MIAMI – Carmelo Anthony has played his last game for the Oklahoma City Thunder, barring a massive change of plans.

Could the Miami Heat be part of Anthony's future?

A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday that Anthony and the Thunder have mutually decided that he will not be on the team next season, though it remains unclear how that departure will actually happen. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no buyout, trade or waiving has been executed.

ESPN first reported the decision by Anthony and the Thunder. The person who spoke to AP says Anthony would prefer to sign with a contender if he becomes a free agent.

Anthony is due to make $28 million this season, his last in a five-year, $125 million contract he signed with New York before getting moved to Oklahoma City. He has said he will not accept a reserve role, and by parting with him -- somehow -- the Thunder could save more than $90 million in luxury tax payments.

In looking for Anthony's next team, ESPN's Kevin Pelton described the Heat as an "interesting landing spot" due to Miami's defensive effectiveness, allowing Anthony to focus solely on offense.

However, Pelton goes on to say that signing Anthony would come at the expense of a Heat veteran such as Kelly Olynyk. Miami is also expected to resign unrestricted free agent Wayne Ellington, who is a far better shooter than Anthony in this point of his career.

Anthony averaged 16.2 points on 40 percent shooting last season, both of those being career-lows.