Lakers News: Carmelo Anthony Reveals Trade With Nuggets That Almost Took Place In 2011
Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Lakers, Nuggets
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Carmelo Anthony saga at the end of his time with the Denver Nuggets was a story of league-wide interest for many years. He was made an enemy in Denver for many years after he was dealt to the New York Knicks at his request, but plenty went on behind the scenes that fans of the Nuggets and other teams would never have known about. One behind the scenes detail involved the Los Angeles Lakers.

With Anthony retired and these stories now long in the past — Anthony’s trade to the Knicks was in 2011 — he is now able to tell full stories about what went on with him, the Knicks, George Karl and the Nuggets. It’s a story that, in hindsight, makes Anthony look less like a villain and more like any other player who has requested a trade since.

But the Lakers’ involvement adds another layer of intrigue, as it was revealed by Anthony that the Lakers had a trade in place to land the superstar from Denver, but Karl ultimately decided he did not want to trade Anthony within the Western Conference, via The Why with Dwyane Wade:

“The deal was done with the Lakers. Me and Nene for Lamar Odom and Bynum. That deal was done. I never thought about New York. When they turned that deal down, when George (Karl) had that deal and turned it down, now it’s like: y’all don’t want me in the West. If you’re going to send me to the East, get me to New York.”

After winning back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, the Lakers were looking for ways to maximize the remaining window of the Kobe Bryant-Pau Gasol duo. And at the time, Anthony would have been a remarkable fit. That season, Anthony was averaging 25.2 points per game and 7.6 rebounds prior to his trade to the Knicks. And Nenê would have been a perfect replacement for Bynum, as he was one of the most efficient centers in the NBA that season.

The Lakers certainly would have lost something defensively with Odom and Bynum leaving for Anthony and Nenê, but the offensive ceiling of a starting lineup featuring Bryant, Anthony, Gasol, Nenê and Derek Fisher would have been unstoppable. The Lakers would go on to lose in the second round to the Dallas Mavericks that season, only to try and trade Odom, Bynum and Gasol for Chris Paul prior to the next season.

LeBron James reiterates happiness with Lakers

In the present day, there are concerns that superstar LeBron James might be unhappy in L.A. and looking to move on when he hits free agency this offseason. He quieted that noise with a recent statement about where he wants to be playing.

“I am a Laker, and I am happy and been very happy being a Laker the last six years, and hopefully it stays that way,” James said. “But I don’t have the answer to how long it is or which uniform I’ll be in. Hopefully it is with the Lakers. It’s a great organization and so many greats. But we’ll see. I don’t know how it’s going to end, but it’s coming. It’s coming, for sure.”

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