While all of attention surrounding New York Knicks free agent to be Carmelo Anthony currently involves the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls, we may not want to rule out the Los Angeles Lakers just yet.
With the rumors swirling around ‘Melo’s potential exit from New York, the Lakers still could be in the mix as that would be some story if Jeanie Buss were able to steal Anthony away from her fiancée Phil Jackson.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, there is still a chance of that happening.
The LA Lakers are not out of the discussion with Carmelo, they just are not front and center for a couple of reasons. Carmelo by himself doesn’t do much for the Lakers, however if Carmelo wants to bring a friend or two along for the ride the Lakers would gladly entertain that.
The Lakers are sitting on three guaranteed contracts next season – Kobe Bryant’s $23.5 million, Steve Nash’s $9.7 million and Robert Sacre’s $915,000. Nick Young has a player option that he is not exercising and the Lakers have a few million likely to be tied up in retaining Kendall Marshall, their lottery pick and a qualifying offer to Kent Bazemore. All in the Lakers are looking at roughly $24 million in usable cap space, which is more than enough to land Carmelo outright from the Knicks.
The problem is a core of Bryant, Carmelo and Nash might win the lottery next year, but it’s not winning a championship and the Lakers know it.
While that’s nice to think about for Lakers’ fans, I still don’t see that happening.
If Melo were to leave New York, which it looks like he is, it would be for a chance to win immediately. That is something the Lakers don’t offer.
If that were the case, Anthony would just stay in New York with hopes of the franchise making the right moves to hopefully one day contend for a championship.
The Lakers are no closer than the Knicks right now, although they may be one year ahead on the rebuilding process with all of the cap room they have this offseason.
At the end of the day the Lakers are one of the few teams that could sign Melo on paper and they certainly have the market size he is looking for.
But the reality of the situation is that if Anthony leaves it is going to be to win a championship.
By that theory alone I often asked why would Anthony stay in New York?
The same reasoning applies here.
Why would he leave New York for Los Angeles?
It wouldn’t accomplish much.