2018 Free Agency

Report: Carmelo Anthony will not opt out of deal with Oklahoma City Thunder

Carmelo Anthony reportedly will not exercise his option to become a free agent. He is expected keep his contract with Oklahoma City, which would pay him $27.9 million, according to a report by Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Anthony has until Saturday at midnight eastern to exercise his right to be a free agent when the period opens on July 1.

Letting the deadline pass will lock in Anthony’s full salary for next season but doesn’t guarantee that he will continue his career in Oklahoma City. Anthony announced after the Thunder’s first-round exit last season that he could not stomach returning in 2018-19 in the same limited role, which raises the possibility that the sides could pursue buyout negotiations this off-season.

The Thunder could also try to trade Anthony, 34, once his salary for next season is in effect. But the market for such a move is expected to be virtually nonexistent given Anthony’s high salary-cap number and his struggles in a complementary role last season alongside the All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

Anthony struggled with a new role all season, his first in Oklahoma City, and was defiant after the Thunder were eliminated by the Jazz in the first round.

“I’m not sacrificing no bench role. That’s out of the question,” Anthony said when asked if he would be open to being a sixth man. Such a role was weighed in the preseason before Oklahoma City scrapped such plans, yet Anthony struggled to adopt to a third-option role and posted career lows across the board.