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NBA Free Agent Rumors: Lakers not that interested in signing Carmelo Anthony

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If and when Carmelo Anthony gets free from his Thunder contract and becomes an NBA free agent, don’t expect him to wind up with the Lakers.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Lakers were “expected to express interest in” Carmelo Anthony whenever the Oklahoma City Thunder forward came to a buyout agreement with the team. However, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, it seems like L.A. might not actually be all that interested in bringing Melo in at all, even if he should become an NBA free agent soon.

A precise timetable for how quickly Anthony can secure his exit from Oklahoma City, most likely via buyout, is not yet clear. But, at this point, it would be a full-fledged surprise if he doesn’t wind up with the Rockets.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been widely mentioned as a chief rival to the Rockets once Anthony actually becomes a free agent, largely because the Lakers’ new face of the franchise is Melo’s close friend LeBron James. But it’s been suggested to me — strongly — that the Lakers’ interest is overstated.

Anthony could have made some sense for the Lakers about a week ago, but given that the team has signed Isaac Bonga and Svi Mykhailiuk to guaranteed contracts since then and brought their roster up to 14, giving the final spot to Anthony doesn’t seem to add up.

Anthony isn’t as bad of a player as his detractors believe, and on the minimum he could be a decent value add for a team in need of wings. But with only one spot left on their roster, the Lakers need a center — or someone who can masquerade as one — a lot more than they need Anthony, because going into the season with JaVale McGee, Ivica Zubac and Moe Wagner as the only options there is far from ideal.

Anthony’s free agency — whenever it starts — will be worth keeping an eye on, but for now, reporting and simply looking at the Lakers’ roster would seem to eliminate them as a real option to sign him.

You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.