NBA Rumors: Should the Los Angeles Lakers Go All in For LeBron James’ Close Friend Carmelo Anthony?

Published 07/13/2021, 12:35 PM EDT


Contrary to what most predicted, the Lakers find themselves in Cancun, instead of playing in the Finals at this time of year. The 17-time champions succumbed to the Phoenix Suns in 6 games in the 1st round.

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Following their 16-5 postseason run last season that clinched the title, GM Rob Pelinka aimed to replace their aging veterans. But, as this season would have taught the front office, “championship experience supersedes talent”!

Oct 11, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; The Los Angeles Lakers hold up the Finals trophy after game six of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. The Los Angeles Lakers won 106-93 to win the series. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

L.A.’s lack of knockdown shooters and pure scorers left a major roster gap, that looked solid on paper. And while the impact of AD’s injury in Game 4 on the result of the series is debatable, the team failed to rally around LeBron, as they folded quickly in Games 5 & 6.

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Should the Lakers actively pursue Carmelo Anthony?

With the league inching closer to free agency which begins on August 2, names have already begun flying across the board. In terms of Laker rumors, recent reports have thrown up an interesting name- Carmelo Anthony!

The 10-time all-star reportedly has reciprocated the interest shown by L.A. as he looks to his next chapter in this league. While Melo doesn’t need many reasons to sign with the LakeShow, Rob Pelinka holds a valuable bargaining chip, his 1st NBA title.

League reporter Evan Massey aired the rumor, as he said – “The Lakers seem like the most likely landing spot for Carmelo Anthony if he leaves Portland in free agency,” a source told Massey. “Both sides have a high level of interest in each other.”

Melo’s future in Hollywood

Let’s be objective, Anthony isn’t the same star he once was for the Denver Nuggets or the New York Knicks. Having played with the Blazers these last few years, Melo just averages 13.4ppg/3.1rpg. But, his ability to shoot the ball from beyond the arc at 40.9% may be a valuable asset for L.A.

Given that the 3pt shot proved to be L.A’s Achilles heal last season, Melo could be a valuable acquisition of the bench, to provide a scoring punch. Furthermore, his bond with LeBron James from when they came into the league together could prove vital in his decision.

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Lastly, what many Laker fans fail to recognize, is that even with LeBron and Anthony Davis healthy next season, the Lakers need added firepower to topple the Brooklyn juggernaut next season.

And while Melo might not be the best FA out there, the Lakers will look at him as an upgrade over an asset like Wes Matthews or KCP, while they prepare for pursuing stars like DeMar DeRozan or Spencer Dinwiddie this season.

Does Carmelo, in his 18-year career don the Purple and Gold with his brother LeBron James this season? Free Agency, next.

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Watch this story – Kobe Bryant Death Anniversary: 5 Biggest Tributes To The Lakers Legend Which Moved The Entire NBA Community.

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Nikhil Naik

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Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

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