BY: MATTHEW EMERY
Carmelo Anthony’s time with the Rockets was brief. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets and Anthony have agreed to part ways this season.
The Rockets are likely making calls around the league to ensure that a team wants to claim him off waivers before they submit the request to the league. If a team agrees to claim him off waivers, then the Rockets are no longer responsible for paying his salary and have no dead cap hit for this season. If no one claims him off waivers, then the team will be responsible for paying him his full amount this season and will also take the full cap hit.
However, if Anthony signs a new contract after clearing waivers, then the Rockets will have the right to set-off a portion of the salary they are paying him and the cap hit. The amount of the set-off is always one-half the difference between the player’s new salary and the minimum salary for a one year veteran during the season.
For example, if he signs the minimum with Golden State (which is $2,393,887), then the Rockets can decrease its salary obligation and cap hit by $499,752 each. This means that Rockets will only have to pay him $1,894,135 in salary and the cap hit would be $1,012,849. You may be asking why the cap hit is less than his salary even though his salary his fully guaranteed. The NBA lowers the cap hits for veteran free agents who sign minimum deals to the value of the two-year veteran minimum ($1,512,601). This
incentivizes teams to sign older players.
Of course, the team prefers to not pay him the rest of his salary and wants to avoid the dead cap hit, which is why they hope a they can arrange for a team to claim him off waivers.