ONE STEP CLOSER: Carmelo Anthony expected to make next stop Houston after trade to Hawks

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Carmelo Anthony is one step closer to joining the Houston Rockets, thanks to a pit stop with the Atlanta Hawks.

The move comes after years of speculation linking Anthony to Houston.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that he intends to sign with the organization. But in order for that to happen, he needs to become a free agent.

The Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers helped put that plan in motion on Wednesday, when Anthony was traded to the Hawks in the three-team deal.

From there, Anthony will be waived. He will then receive all $27.9 million of the final year of his contract.

If Anthony were to have been bought out, he would have had to sacrifice some of his money to complete the move.

Anthony will officially become a free agent once waived. He will have to clear waivers, which takes about 48 hours. After those 48 hours are passed, he will be on his way to Clutch City. He is expected to sign the veteran's minimum for $2.4 million.

Anthony will unite with longtime friend Chris Paul. The two are part of the famous "banana boat." Paul, Anthony and James Harden have worked out at a Lifetime Athletic location in New York, giving a glimpse of what to possibly expect.

Head coach Mike D'Antoni will reunite with Anthony. The two were together for a short period with the New York Knicks. A rough relationship between the two led D'Antoni to leave the organization. Through all of that, he has stated he is open to coaching Anthony again.
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