Still, the team has agreed to keep backup point guard Raymond Felton to a one-year deal. With his signing, The Thunder become the first National Basketball Association franchise to surpass the $300 million in payroll, taking them well into the luxury tax. As of now, Bobby Marks of ESPN said the Thunder have $150 million in luxury tax.
According to National Basketball Association writer Jeff Siegel, a buyout of $25.5 million - Anthony's contract minus the veteran minimum for which he could sign after being released - with the remaining money stretched would save OKC $116 million in luxury tax payments.More news: Hurricane Beryl Is Tiny, Unpredictable
Felton did a credible job in that role last season, providing above-average production for a player making the veteran's minimum. As things stand, OKC is on pace to become the first team in league history to tout $300 million in combined financial commitments between salaried players and tax payments. In 2012 the franchise was reluctant to offer a big contract to future MVP James Harden because of tax bills, leaving him joining the Rockets.More news: Thai coach apologizes to parents as boys write they're OK
Perhaps most encouraging was that Felton, a career 32.9 percent three-point shooter, drilled 35.2 percent of his long-range looks. He was the fifth overall pick in the 2005 draft. In the playoffs, Anthony's production dropped further as he averaged just 11.8 points as they lost to the Utah Jazz in the first round. "So that's out of the question", said Anthony, who has started all 1,054 games in his National Basketball Association career.
Carmelo Anthony is now a part of the most-expensive team in National Basketball Association history. The Thunder played just 72 minutes last season with neither Westbrook nor Felton on the court, exclusively in garbage time.More news: Pompeo in Pyongyang to Seek Concrete Nuclear Commitments