Why would the Atlanta Hawks trade for Carmelo Anthony to immediately put him on waivers? Is it just to clear cap space?

1 Answer 1


From my understanding, the Hawks are trying to set up some moves for the future. Part of that is hoarding some draft picks (they received one in this deal), part of it is keeping cap space available (why they waive Carmelo--but they also get rid of Schroder's salary), and part of it is developing good, younger players (they've opted for PG's other than Schroeder--so they wanted to get rid of him but needed a trade to do so).

From OKC's perspective, they didn't want to keep Anthony's contract but instead of waiving him themselves, they looked around for such a deal where they could land a player or two that they want but for whom they'd need to trade (and not wanting to trade away much else but Anthony). Yes, the Hawks waived Anthony to keep cap space but you could look at it as them doing the waiving for the Thunder with a middle step in between that benefits both teams.

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    Why not trade to a team that might really want him like the Rockets?
    – paparazzo
    Jul 21, 2018 at 3:47
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    I think that nobody, including the Rockets, wanted Anthony under his current contract. Now that he's waived, he'll become a free agent and somebody, possibly the Rockets, can negotiate a new contract with him. Jul 23, 2018 at 13:41
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    From my understanding they had to buy out his full contract. Maybe if they buyout the contract it does not go against the luxury tax?
    – paparazzo
    Jul 23, 2018 at 17:16
  • You're correct about the buyout--I originally thought it was less than the whole contract. Still, the Hawks end up saving money after this year by unloading the $47 million over 3 years due to Schroder. That's the real point of this for them, along with getting a draft pick and Justin Anderson. If they didn't waive Anthony, they would be in a position where they might not every get much value from him because 1) he has a no-trade clause making him difficult to deal, and 2) he didn't really want to play for the Hawks. Now they can use the roster spot on someone for whom they can build value. Jul 23, 2018 at 18:59
  • Also, apparently the Hawks will get a little back (not much) at the end of the season now that Anthony has signed with another team due to an "ideal of established-off" principle : proudteams.com/nba/… Jul 23, 2018 at 18:59

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