People around the league are widely expecting Carmelo Anthony to have interest in joining the Lakers when free agency begins on Monday, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only is he incredibly close friends with LeBron James going back to their high school years, but at 37 years old and coming off of two minimum contracts with the aimless Portland Trail Blazers, heading to Los Angeles could be Anthony’s final chance to join a contender and win his first championship.
And if all the secondhand rumors and common sense reasons to expect Anthony to show interest in the Lakers weren’t enough for you, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times confirmed on Saturday what everyone has been assuming for weeks and months: Melo wants to be a Laker.
Carmelo Anthony is interested, just waiting on a call from the Lakers when free agency opens Monday.
That is about as close to a done deal as you’re going to hear about two full days before free agency begins, and it’s not a stretch to imagine that LeGM and Melo have probably been in contact about this once or twice since the season ended.
And the time might finally be right to embrace this union of two members of the fabled Banana Boat crew. The Lakers could use shooting, Anthony has embraced his true calling as a small-ball power forward and shot a career-high 40.9% from 3-point range last season, and James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and the Lakers have all seemingly embraced the small-ball identity that will make Anthony an even better fit.
With the Lakers no longer having any young players blocking Anthony’s path to the roster and just needing to fill out the rest of their rotation with veteran’s minimum players, his and James’ long-hoped for turn as teammates appears to finally be here.
He’ll have to wait a few more days, but given all the buzz, at this point it would be a shock if Anthony’s phone doesn’t ring on Monday.