While Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Chris Paul have forged a close friendship, only the latter two find themselves playing a pivotal role for the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, respectively.
After an up-and-down season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony was sent to the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team trade during the summer. He never reported to the Hawks, however, and instead received $27.9 million in a buyout.
Upon clearing waivers, Anthony teamed up with Paul by signing a one-year contract with the Rockets. There were questions about roster fit and role but both parties went into it with optimism.
A mere 13 games into the regular season, which Anthony played in 10 of, he and the Rockets have agreed to part ways. As the 34-year-old explores his options, the question of where he might fit is being raised by some.
It’s what Charles Barkley posed to Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith on “Inside The NBA,” to which O’Neal named the Lakers because of James, as seen on TNT:
“Lakers. A player like LeBron would know how to get him to his spot.”
Considering Anthony’s struggles on the defensive end and reluctance to come off the bench, signing with the Lakers would not appear to be a strong fit. Even if James is capable of getting more out of his Olympic teammate than others have.
Additionally, with the recent signing of Tyson Chandler, the Lakers no longer have an open roster spot. L.A. pursued Anthony in free agency several years ago when they were in search of a second star to pair with Kobe Bryant.
They reportedly had little, if any, interest in Anthony as a free agent this year, and were said to not be a potential landing spot in the wake of the latest development.