We all knew that once the Houston Rockets decided to part ways with Carmelo Anthony that eventually there would be rumors about him joining his old buddy LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.
Those rumors did eventually surface — entertainingly enough, both in the form of reports the Lakers might and wouldn’t sign Anthony — but what we didn’t know is what James thought of the possibility. Now, thanks to someone in the media contingent interviewing James after the Lakers’ blowout loss to the Orlando Magic, James has weighed in.
James was asked “Carmelo and Lakers. Thoughts?”, and he, well, gave his thoughts (via Spectrum Sportsnet):
“I have no idea to be honest. That’s not a question to ask me. Right now we have 15 roster spots right? We don’t even have a roster spot open right now. But that’s not a question for myself.”
James is correct that the Lakers’ roster is full, making a Melo/Lakers team-up impossible as things currently stand. That noted, the Lakers could fairly easily waive a cheaper contract like Ivica Zubac if they really wanted to add Anthony.
Will they do so? It seems unlikely. Anthony is whatever the opposite of a Luke Walton player is, a once-great scorer who doesn’t understand that he’d need to have his role reduced to succeed in the modern NBA, and isn’t exactly a willing ball-mover or defender.
Things might be different if James was going to publicly or privately pressure the organization to give his old friend another shot, but so far he’s shown no signs of doing so. He also now had the perfect opportunity to publicly and seamlessly light a fire under the team to sign Anthony, and instead demurred.
For someone who understands the power of their voice like James, this would not seem to be an accident. So for now, between the Lakers’ roster situation and James’ lack of pushing to add Anthony — who the Rockets haven’t even officially waived yet — it doesn’t appear that the team will be signing Melo any time soon.