Lakers Linked to 10x All-Star Following Russell Westbrook Trade

Getty Could LeBron James and his good buddy Carmelo Anthony win a ring together?

The Los Angeles Lakers will have to get creative to fill out their roster following a blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook and veteran scorer Carmelo Anthony could be a compelling option.

Anthony is 36 years old but is still a capable scorer at the NBA level. He averaged 13.4 points per game last season with the Portland Trail Blazers, playing just over 24 minutes per game. He also shot over 40% from beyond the arc, making him a welcome addition to a Lakers squad that just traded away two of its better 3-point shooters in Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Kuzma made a team-high 137 3-pointers for the Lakers last season and Caldwell-Pope made 120.

Anthony — a good friend of LeBron James — was mentioned by Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus as a possible option for the Lakers going forward as a bench scorer, as well as DeMar DeRozan.

If DeMar DeRozan wants to come home to Los Angeles for cheap, the Lakers wouldn’t have much to offer but would probably welcome him despite his poor outside shot. DeRozan may be a longshot, but don’t count out Carmelo Anthony as a bench scorer.

Other names mentioned by Pincus included: JJ Redick, Wayne Ellington, Svi Mykhailiuk, Doug McDermott, Reggie Bullock, Malik Monk, Bryn Forbes and Furkan Korkmaz.

He also mentioned Dwight Howard, Aron Baynes, Daniel Theis, DeMarcus Cousins or JaVale McGee as possible big man additions.

DeRozan Open to Taking Discount to Compete for Title

If the Lakers were to land DeRozan, he’d have to take a massive pay cut, with the Lakers likely using the mid-level exception to land him. The four-time All-Star has banked more than $175 million in his career and says he wants to compete for a title.

“You try to balance it as best as you can,” DeRozan told Shannon Sharpe on his podcast Club Shay Shay. “At this point, you got to weigh out the opportunity of winning a championship kind of more, especially with the career that I have had. I have been fortunate to make a lot of money. The ultimate goal is to always compete for a championship.”

With Anthony Davis, LeBron James and now Westbrook leading the way, the Lakers will be firmly in the title conversation, coming in behind only the Brooklyn Nets when it comes to championship odds for next season. Following the trade for Westbrook, the Lakers moved from as high as +650 to +375, per The Action Network.

“It’s all about winning at this point. Going into my 13th season and seeing all these guys just competing for a championship,” DeRozan said. “At this point, you got to weigh out the opportunity of winning a championship kind of more. Especially with the career I’ve had. I’ve been fortunate to make a lot of money but at this point, the ultimate goal is to compete for a championship.”

DeRozan is not the only former Spurs player to be linked to the Lakers. Veteran wing Rudy Gay has also been a hot name when it comes to the Lakers, per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer via a Reddit post.

James, Davis & Westbrook Met to Discuss Trade

The Lakers’ trade for Westbrook caught many by surprise but it was something that had been in the works, per Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times.

Turner reported that the superstar trio met up at James’ house and discussed the possibility of Westbrook joining the Lakers and how it would work out.

James and Davis talked about the two of them changing positions if that was best for the team — James moving from small forward to power forward and Davis from power forward to center.

Westbrook let James and Davis know he doesn’t mind playing off the ball when James initiates the offense, something he did while playing alongside James Harden with the Houston Rockets.

If it all works out as planned, the Lakers will be a juggernaut and the potential of the squad will more than likely attract pieces — like Anthony and others — as the franchise eyes a second title in three years.

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