UPDATED 12:43 p.m. ET: According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are uninterested in adding Carmelo Anthony. On top of that, LeBron hasn't reached out to GM Rob Pelinka or team president Magic Johnson about the possibility of bringing Melo on, even though Anthony's camp called the Lakers a while back about coming aboard.
See original story below.
Carmelo Anthony remains on the Rockets payroll at the veteran league's minimum even after parting ways with the team last month. His sharp decline was something even banana boat buddy Chris Paul could not overcome. But Paul is no LeBron James. A league source tells The Athletic's Joe Vardon that LeBron would like the Lakers to acquire the former Nuggets and Knicks despite disappointing seasons with the Thunder and Rockets.
Despite the precipitous fall of Anthony's contributions on the basketball court, Vardon reports that LeBron's camp thinks he can still be a valuable member for a young team that's continued to battle injuries. LeBron so far has side-stepped the question when asked.
The timing appears right, with Brandon Ingram's sprained ankle likely costing him a couple of games, but as Vardon notes in his piece, the two previous banana boat incarnations haven't gone well. Wade joined LeBron on the Cavs to start the 2017-18 season after the Bulls bought him out and was eventually traded to Miami at the deadline in February. Anthony's pairing with Paul in Houston lasted all of 10 games.
The Lakers already have a medley of young and old on their roster, and some pretty loose cannons doing their best to stay in line. We're not sure adding a personality like Melo's would mesh well with the rest of that locker room, and the on-court fit might be even worse. Anthony is no longer quick enough to defend, even if he wanted to move his feet and stay in front of someone, and his shot has cratered, so it's not like he'd provide James more spacing. Anthony's true shooting percentage last season and through 10 games with the Rockets this season, is the lowest since his rookie campaign.
James and his camp might think it can work, but all signs point to it being a mistake. It'll be interesting to see what kind of leverage LeBron has with Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson, who must see the writing is on the wall for Anthony, even if LeBron's career-long friendship with him shrouds that largely empirical conclusion.