As the Los Angeles Lakers looked to fill out their roster during the 2019 NBA offseason, one name that came up as a possibility was Carmelo Anthony.
With the team in need of scoring and shooting, some believed he would be a good fit and the fact that he is a close friend of LeBron James only increased the speculation.
Ultimately, the Lakers decided to go elsewhere in their roster construction with their decision to sign Jared Dudley, drawing particular ire from fans and even fellow players. But now with Anthony being signed by the Portland Trail Blazers, much of that talk has died down.
As it turned out, the Lakers did consider signing Anthony and he even had the blessing of his good friend but they decided to go elsewhere, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Many thought the Lakers would be the team to sign Anthony in the offseason because of their need for depth and floor spacing. That speculation also arose because of Anthony’s close friendship with superstar LeBron James.
Anthony had the blessing of James, league sources told Yahoo Sports, but the front office chose to go in a different direction.
James vouching for his good friend should come as no surprise as most players would love to play with their close friends. The Lakers had their reasons for going with the likes of Dudley and considering their start to the 2019-20 NBA season, they’ve seemingly made the right choices in roster construction.
The treatment of Dudley in this entire saga was pretty unfair. Even Anthony himself admitted Dudley didn’t deserve what he got and wasn’t the reason he hadn’t joined a roster at the time. Dudley fills a different role than Anthony which is why the Lakers preferred to add him and things have gone well for both sides.
The Lakers have the best record in the league and Dudley has provided a nice veteran presence despite his floor time being minimal. He has also taken to being a mentor to Kyle Kuzma. Though it took some time to get back in the NBA, Anthony is showing he is deserving of a roster spot.
Anthony is averaging 16.6 points in five games so far while shooting 45.3 percent from the field. Meanwhile, Dudley hasn’t seen the floor too much for the Lakers, appearing in just 10 games, but has knocked down 4-of-6 from the three-point line.