When the Atlanta Hawks acquired Jeremy Lin last week, the natural assumption was that the team would do anything in its power to shed the contract of point guard Dennis Schröder. Given the presence of both Lin and No. 5 overall pick Trae Young, there is a log-jam at the position and, in short, the decks need to be cleared to allow Young to develop (and potentially flourish) with Lin in a supporting role.
With that in mind, a report from Mitch Lawrence of SiriusXM Radio surfaced on Wednesday that is undeniably interesting, with rumblings of trade discussions between the Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder involving Schröder, Carmelo Anthony and Mike Muscala.
Oklahoma City and Atlanta in trade talks, with Thunder targeting Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, per sources. Carmelo Anthony would go to Atlanta, with Hawks doing buyout. Atl looking to add asset to make Melo’s buyout a wash. Getting rid of Schroder is No. 1 priority.— Mitch Lawrence (@Mitch_Lawrence) July 18, 2018
As with any rumor, this is something that should be treated as simply that: a rumor. Still, it is intriguing to consider as a thought exercise, if nothing else.
For what it’s worth, a deal sending Schröder and Muscala to Oklahoma City in exchange for Anthony’s $27.9 million contract would work under salary cap rules. As noted above, the Hawks would be (very) likely to engage in immediate buyout talks with Anthony and the impetus for the deal would be to part ways with Schroder without taking painful long-term money back in the deal.
The casualty on Atlanta’s end would be the loss of Muscala but, given the presence of John Collins, Omari Spellman and Dewayne Dedmon (to go along with Miles Plumlee), the veteran big man would be a relatively limited role and he is signed for only the 2018-19 season (at $5 million) before hitting the free agent market.
Overall, this would sap almost all of Atlanta’s salary cap room for the upcoming season and that isn’t ideal. With that said, Schröder’s contract is set to run for three more seasons (at $15.5 million annually) and, from a flexibility standpoint, turning that into a one-year commitment for Anthony (perhaps at a slightly reduced figure to the $27.9 million he is owed) would be a win in my view, even with the caveat of sending Muscala along to make things work.
Stay tuned as additional details potentially emerge. For now, this remains in the rumor stage.