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NBA free agency 2014: Carmelo Anthony, Lakers meeting Thursday, according to report

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The Lakers and Carmelo Anthony officially have a meeting lined up.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have made their interest in Carmelo Anthony official now that free agency has officially begun, and the sides will meet on Thursday, reports ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. Reports have linked the Lakers to Anthony leading into free agency, though they were one of the last teams to finalize their meeting with the superstar free agent.

Anthony is expected to meet with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. He will then meet with the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday prior to returning to his off-season home in Los Angeles to meet with the Lakers on Thursday. The New York Knicks expect to have the final word with Anthony, according to Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears.

It's unclear when Anthony will make his final decision, but he anticipates a fast resolution and reportedly wants to make his decision by the second week of July.

The Lakers have the cap space available to sign Anthony to a maximum contract this summer. He could fill a huge void at small forward and share the scoring load with Kobe Bryant in the wings. Anthony, 30, is likely signing the last significant contract in his career.

Bryant was expected to personally recruit Anthony as well, and had already reached out to him while they were both traveling in Europe.