Image Credit: Sporting News
Simply because the Los Angeles Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are just two games out of first place in the Western Conference, that doesn’t mean “The King” is content with the current state of his team. Reported earlier today by The Athletic, LeBron James is interested in bringing a friend and former All-Star Carmelo Anthony aboard to join him in LA.
Released by the Houston Rockets on November 15, Anthony averaged 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 0.5 assists on 40.5% shooting from the field and 32.8% from deep in 10 games with the team. This drop off in efficiency, combined with an unwillingness/inability to defend at an adequate level, caused GM Daryl Morey to part ways with the 34-year-old forward.
ESPN.com Senior Writer Ramona Shelburne confirmed the earlier report, adding “Bron hasn’t asked Lakers to sign Melo, and that he doesn’t intend to. But if Rob/Magic decide that’d be good for the Lakers, the banana boat has been floated apparently.”
For those not familiar with the “banana boat” reference, it’s alluding to the friend group of James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Anthony’s summer vacation a few years back. While Anthony wasn’t on the boat when the picture was taken, he’s generally considered the fourth member of the crew. This is a testament to how close James and Anthony are off the court.
While bringing an aging, one-dimensional Anthony into the fold won’t help a Lakers defense that currently ranks 8th in the league in defensive rating, perhaps he could serve as a spark plug off the bench. He wasn’t great (or even good, by some measurements) in Houston, but a change of scenery and one last chance to prove his value in the league may change things a bit.
Whether or not this move would be a net positive or negative for the Lakers is up to interpretation. Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on about Anthony, him actually signing with the Lakers is far from a certainty.
Stay tuned for updates as/if needed.