OK, so maybe we don’t need to blame Tobey Maguire just yet.
It appears that the Los Angeles Lakers’ free agent presentation to Carmelo Anthony made a big impact, and they have emerged as a serious, viable destination for the free agent forward. ESPN’s Bill Simmons reported via Twitter that things had gone well for LA:
Hearing the Lakers made a MAJOR impact on Melo this week - it's now a legit 3-way battle between LA/Chi/NYK to land him. Crazy NBA weekend.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 5, 2014
With Melo expected to make a decision soon, the fact that the Lakers have made such a strong impression has to be a good sign for a team looking to make a splash after such a hideous season last year. In addition to their pursuit of Anthony, they have added Julius Randle through the draft and on Friday met with Rich Paul, the agent for LeBron James.
The Lakers’ appeal to Anthony is certainly strong. On the court, he can team with Randle, Kobe Bryant, and perhaps a returning Pau Gasol to form one of the league’s best cores. The Lakers are positioned well for the long term as well, with Kobe coming off the books in two years and no other players signed beyond next season.
The Lakers and Knicks have both offered Melo a max contract, so ultimately it will come down to whether he (or, really, LaLa) likes NYC or LA better.