It appears as though Carmelo Anthony's time with the Thunder is done.

The 34-year-old forward from Brooklyn opted into his $27.9 million deal for next season knowing that plans to scale back his role to a reserve doesn't fit with his desires.

According to ESPN, the Heat is one of three teams expected to show interest in Carmelo Anthony when the 10-time All-Star and three-time Olympic Gold medalist finally parts ways with the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reports the Houston Rockets will pursue Anthony if he's bought out.

Anthony, a four-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist, is the all-time U.S. scoring and rebounds leader but the 10-time All-Star has struggled in 15 NBA seasons, never playing in the NBA Finals.

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With George opting to stay as well, the Thunder face an epic $310 million payroll, which league sources told ESPN in the report would dictate the Thunder trade, buy out or stretch Anthony's contract impact under National Basketball Association salary cap rules - the latter move trimming $107 million off next season's salary and luxury tax total.

The most likely result, even with a trade, is that Anthony would eventually become a free agent, making his ultimate destination and value a fascinating point of conjecture. They could not, however, get close enough on a deal with the Rockets lacking enough assets and salary to make the one work without including the bloated contract of power forward Ryan Anderson, who the Knicks weren't interested in and who potential third teams shooed off.

He expressed more than just concern about his role with OKC at the team's end-of-season exit interviews, when he called the possibility of coming off the bench next season "out the question", before saying, "I'm not sacrificing no bench role".

"As far as being effective as that type of player, I don't think I can be effective as that type of player", Anthony said then.

Last season, Anthony averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 per cent shooting in 78 games with the Thunder, his first season with them.


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