The Los Angeles Lakers made a flurry of veteran signings as free agency opened on Monday but one more could be on the way in the former of Carmelo Anthony.
The Lakers are currently in a duel with Anthony’s former team, the New York Knicks, for his services, per Marc Stein.
“Another free-agent duel of interest: Carmelo Anthony is weighing interest from both the Lakers and the Knicks, league sources say,” Stein tweeted.
Anthony is 36 years old but still a very 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 contest. What might be the most important aspect of his game is that he shot over 40% from the 3-point line, making him a welcome addition for a Lakers team in need of shooting. Anthony previously said he’d like to retire with the Trail Blazers, but all the recent noise indicates otherwise.
One thing the Lakers have working in their favor is the friendship that exists between LeBron James and Anthony. Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, posted a photo with James this summer, writing “legacy” as the caption.
Lakers Also in Mix for Patty Mills
The Lakers are shopping for veterans and long-time Spurs guard Patty Mills is firmly on the team’s radar. Stein reported the team’s interest in Mills prior to free agency opening up, mentioning him among Dwight Howard and Wayne Ellington, who both inked deals with the Lakers on Monday.
In addition to what many regard as the inevitable return of Dwight Howard for a third go-round in Hollywood, San Antonio’s Patty Mills and Detroit’s Wayne Ellington are two prime free agents of interest for the Los Angeles Lakers as L.A. hunts for bargains (and shooters) to fill out the rest of its roster after trading for Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers are reportedly trying to fend off the Nets and Warriors for Mills’ services. That being said, the Warriors ended up inking Otto Porter Jr. late Monday and the Nets are an “unlikely” destination for the Aussie legend, per ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.
Lakers on a Budget Following Russell Westbrook Trade
The Lakers swung for the fences on a deal for Russell Westbrook that sent some picks, Montrezl Harrell, Kentvaious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma to Washington. The salaries of Westbrook, James and Anthony Davis combine for more than $120 million, which has put the team in a tight situation when it comes to spending.
While that’s true, Lakers president Jeanie Buss said the team would be willing to deal with the consequences of the luxury tax to maximize the title window opportunity with James
“The luxury tax is for teams that have championship aspirations, and certainly that is something where we want to keep the Lakers at the top of the conversation,” Buss said on ESPN’s First Take. And once LeBron James decided to join the Lakers, the way he’s playing it doesn’t seem like he’s 36 years old, but when you have a player like LeBron James on your team, you’ve got to go for it. You’ve got to use that opportunity to win.”