There was an ungodly amount of speculation last season that the Lakers would sign Carmelo Anthony, in part due to his connection to star forward LeBron James.
James spoke to reporters on at least two separate occasions about how he’d “welcome” the Lakers signing Anthony, but also continually reiterated that such an addition wasn’t up to him. He apparently never expressly asked the front office to go get Melo, and while there was at least one report that the Lakers had some level of interest in Anthony, there were also two others explicitly stating that the team didn’t want him.
It sounds like that isn’t changing, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Lakers discussed the signing of Anthony last season and now have one roster spot open, but appear to be an unlikely option.
Kurt Rambis, who is now a significant part of the Lakers’ front office, was part of the Knicks’ Phil Jackson regime that had a tumultuous final stretch with Anthony. The Lakers have James and Kyle Kuzma as high-minute forwards and signed Jared Dudley. They also have a bevy of wing players in Danny Green, Avery Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who could provide versatility in the lineup. Does Anthony make sense on the roster as a spot player?
It’s important to note that while Charania appears to mostly just be connecting publicly known dots here — mainly in his use of “appear to be” followed by public info rather than attributing this info to “sources” — there is the reality that he cited sources around the league and in Anthony’s camp at multiple points in his piece, and as one of the biggest NBA insiders around, it’s fair to guess that this is likely informed speculation, if not out-and-out reporting.
There is also the fact that Anthony signing with the Lakers just doesn’t make sense, for many of the reasons Charania outlined and more. While it may be nice to see Kyle Kuzma trying to pick up a few tricks from one of his stylistic forebears, the Lakers really just don’t have a whole lot of room on the roster for Anthony. They already have the aforementioned logjam at the forward spots, and as a team with plenty of scoring options, don’t really need Anthony’s ball-dominant brand of bucket getting anyway. Plus, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has said that the team will likely keep their final roster spot open to monitor the buyout market anyway.
Basically, while there hasn’t been as much speculation connecting the Lakers to Anthony as there was last season, every piece of information we have says he isn’t in their plans, and doesn’t make sense for this team anyway. Anthony ending his career with his sad exit from the Houston Rockets last year would be a lame way for one of the NBA’s best scorers to see his days in the league end, but it doesn’t seem like the Lakers are going to be the team to give Anthony a shot at redemption, if he gets one at all.