When the Los Angeles Lakers were hoping to make a final championship run over the final years of Kobe Bryant’s career, Carmelo Anthony was among the stars they pursued in free agency. The possibility of the pairing struck many as curious considering both are ball-dominant guards.
Anthony never made his way to Los Angeles, instead remaining with the New York Knicks. He went on to spend a rocky season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, was traded and bought out by the Atlanta Hawks, and lasted all of 10 games with the Houston Rockets.
They announced in the middle of November that Anthony would no longer suit up for the team and a solution would be sought after. Anthony could be waived at any moment but is not eligible to be traded until Saturday, Dec. 15.
With the trade restriction being lifted in a week, speculation has tied Anthony to the Lakers yet again. Though this time because of LeBron James reportedly having interest in playing with his close friend.
Despite that, James is not believed to have directly discussed the possibility with the Lakers, who themselves are not interested in Anthony, according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:
Lakers have no interest in acquiring Carmelo Anthony, per sources. Sources said people want to attach players to Lakers now. Sources said Melo people called Lakers a while back and that LeBron hasn’t talked to Lakers prez Magic Johnson/Rob Pelinka about getting Melo.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) December 7, 2018
The Lakers wouldn’t necessarily have a clear path to acquiring Anthony either via trade or signing him as a free agent in the event the Rockets waive the 34-year-old. L.A. would need to clear a roster spot in order to sign Anthony or any other player.
Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, his style of play does not mesh with the system head coach Luke Walton has implemented. Anthony’s defense has never been a strong suit and only declined as his career advanced, and he remains a ball-stopper on offense.