Bill Simmons offers sensible Carmelo Anthony solution for OKC Thunder

Carmelo Anthony, OKC Thunder (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony, OKC Thunder (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In the latest episode of the B.S. podcast, Bill Simmons suggested the OKC Thunder give Carmelo Anthony an ultimatum.

Going into the past season, Thunder GM Sam Presti pushed all in by dealing for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. In doing so, he brought on two large contracts with player options for second years which could ruin the immediate financial future of the franchise.

While all eyes are on George and his decision to stay another year or sign a long-term deal elsewhere, the Melo drama continues. Anthony has already been adamant about his role on the team, despite a disappointing season.

Should Melo opt into the final year, OKC would owe him just under $28 million. And if the final year of his deal is anything like the one he had, it’s going to be a long season. However, the Ringer’s Bill Simmons offered three suggestions which could ease some of issues.

If Melo wants to stay, he should do so with the understanding he’ll be coming off the bench. Simmons suggested giving him six minutes per game, but it might be better to play each night by ear. The Thunder would have to bite the bullet on a large contract, but it would be making the best out of a bad situation.

More from Thunderous Intentions

By taking him in and out of games based on performance would give Donovan flexibility with him. Any hot nights from Anthony becomes found money.

Alternatively, Melo could get out of OKC, but not sacrifice the money. For this to work, Presti would have to agree to pay half of the contract, while allowing his next team to pay for the other half. This would mean, however, Melo would land on a team with money to spend. In which case, he likely wouldn’t be set up to win a title.

For the Thunder, it would be a bail-out option. This would leave Presti some flexibility in free agency and a chance to dump Anthony. Seeing as how poorly he played last season, paying a player to leave is worth considering.

If neither of those options are appealing to Anthony, he could say goodbye to the money and shoot for a ring. By opting out of his contract, he could sign a near minimum deal with a contending team. This, of course, would be the best outcome for the Thunder, as Presti would be off the hook. It would also mean Melo might not retire without a ring.

Simmons’ suggestion is the most unique yet, and given his platform, it might be brought to Presti’s attention. Sure, some sacrifices would have to be made if Melo stays. But if Carmelo Anthony wants out and rather make money than wins, splitting the bill would be a creative way to do it. Personally as a Melo fan and Thunder fan, I hate to see it come to this.