The rumblings around the Los Angeles Lakers and the potential to add another player or two from the buyout market have lingered in recent weeks. And with the team battling for a spot in the NBA playoffs, the talks of signing a player who was bought out have only ramped up. But when the calendar turned to March 2, it provided plenty of clarity.
The way the buyout market works is that players who are released on March 1 or before are able to be on any playoff roster as long as they are signed before the regular season wraps up. On the other hand, any player released after March 1 cannot be added to a playoff roster for a team.
So from the above situation, Carmelo Anthony can be added by the Lakers at any point before the end of the regular season, since he was already bought out. The same can’t be said for New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan, who’s still under contract. These are the two main targets who have been linked to Los Angeles, and we’re going to take a look at the latest on both players.
Lakers and Potential Carmelo Anthony Signing
Some Lakers fans have expected the signing of Anthony to get done. But even if it does happen, it won’t need to pan out immediately. The Lakers can wait until the final day of the regular season if they choose to, assuming the veteran forward remains a free agent. And it seems that may wind up being how things play out.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday, the two sides are waiting on a potential deal to see if the Lakers make a turn back towards the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Lakers and free agent Carmelo Anthony are pausing talks on a possible contract agreement unless the franchise makes a turn back toward pursuit of Western Conference playoffs contention, league sources told ESPN.
As Heavy.com’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson previously reported, LeBron James and his camp want Anthony to end up with the Lakers. But the team? They may not feel the same way. Per Robinson:
“LeBron’s camp is insisting on the front office signing Melo,” a league source with knowledge of the Lakers told me via text message this afternoon.
“But the team wants to go in a different direction.”
The Lakers’ outlook to sign Anthony seems to now depend on their chances to make the postseason, so that makes it a situation to monitor.
Latest on DeAndre Jordan and Lakers
The Lakers’ interest in Jordan has been at the forefront since his trade from the Dallas Mavericks to the Knicks. Unfortunately, there was bad news on that front from early on, as Magic Johnson and company didn’t have a chance at the veteran big man.
As Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported previously, the Knicks had “no intention” of buying Jordan out of his deal.
The Lakers wouldn’t mind adding another big man, according to people not authorized to speak publicly. But one player the Lakers can forget about is Knicks center DeAndre Jordan, because New York has no intention of buying him out, according to one person.
That proved true, at least for the time being. Regardless, he wasn’t bought out of his deal prior to the deadline for playoff teams. So even if he was bought out by the Knicks now, Jordan would be unable to join a playoff team’s postseason roster.