Lakers 10-Time All-Star Predicted to Bolt for Familiar Foe

Lakers exec Rob Pelinka

Getty Lakers exec Rob Pelinka

The Los Angeles Lakers roster is getting closer to being finalized for the start of the season, but there are several veterans who were on the team’s roster last season that remain unsigned, including Carmelo Anthony. Former NBA executive turned ESPN analyst Bobby Marks predicts that Anthony will ultimately return to the Knicks before the season tips off.

“Anthony can still help the Lakers but there is a clear emphasis on younger players off the bench,” Marks wrote on August 2, 2022. “New York has two open roster spots and possibly more if a Donovan Mitchell trade occurs. A return to his former team is Anthony’s best option.”

Anthony was a solid contributor for the Lakers last season averaging 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and one assist while shooting 37.5% from long-range during his 69 appearances. The forward has an impressive career resume including being a 10-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA member and being named to the league’s 75th Anniversary Team. Anthony has successfully transitioned from being the focal point of a team’s offense to a contributing role player.

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NBA GM on Melo Returning to LA: ‘They’ll Probably Get Back Around to Bringing Him in’

Not everyone believes Anthony will leave Hollywood, especially given his close relationship with LeBron James. During a July conversation with Heavy Sports’ league insider Sean Deveney, one NBA general manager predicted that the Lakers will re-sign Anthony while adding the team is likely in “no hurry” to fill out their roster.

“They have a lot to sort out obviously,” the GM said. “But as more things get set, they’ll probably get back around to bringing him in. It’s just, at this point, you don’t know what might happen with Westbrook and whether you might need to take on players, so you see that around the league a lot—teams have 10, 11, 12 players signed and there’s no hurry to fill in the last spots until you see how the other stuff plays out.”

Could Melo Land With the Warriors?

The NBA general manager also labeled the Warriors as a sleeper team to watch in the Anthony sweepstakes. Golden State could give Anthony the best opportunity to win his first championship ring.

“It would be a nice story, if he could win a ring there to end his career,” the NBA exec explained. “Golden State has the room for him. He can make shots and they can hide up his defense, which is one of the big problems with adding him. He’d take the minimum. They have a lot of young guys on that roster, they could do with another veteran and those guys all know Carmelo from Team USA. I do not know if they would really take that plunge on him, but it does make some sense.”

As for the Knicks, SNY TV’s Ian Begley reported on July 1 that Anthony appears to have an open invitation to return to the Knicks. Anthony played seven seasons with the Knicks from 2011 through 2017.

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