NBA Free Agency Rumors: Lakers Among Teams Interested In Carmelo Anthony
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are starting to take shape as they fill out the remainder of the roster for the 2018-19 NBA season.

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After LeBron James signed, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have surrounded him with the team’s young core along with ‘tough-minded’ playmakers in Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo.

With the Lakers still needing to improve their three-point shooting and the Oklahoma City Thunder looking to reduce their $310 million payroll and luxury tax bill, Carmelo Anthony will reportedly be on the move.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young of ESPN, there are a couple options for Anthony and the Thunder after they successfully re-signed Paul George:

Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, has a strong relationship and history with Thunder general manager Sam Presti, and they’ll work together on Anthony’s exit through a trade, the NBA’s stretch provision or a combined buyout and stretch, league sources said.

In addition, the Lakers are among teams expected to express interest in the 34-year-old:

Anthony, a 10-time NBA All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist, would be pursued vigorously among contenders on the free-agent market. The Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers are among multiple teams expected to express interest in Anthony, sources tell ESPN.

Depending on what path the Thunder ultimately pursue first, the Lakers could be an ideal trade partner with Luol Deng’s remaining two-year, $37 million contract. In addition, they have approximately $5 million remaining in cap space to sign him if he is bought out or stretched.

Although the Lakers could use another center to balance out the roster, it is an opportunity to team up James and Anthony, who were part of the 2003 NBA Draft class and friends off the court.

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