Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will be very busy this summer. Not only does he have to hire a new coach, but he also has to make tough roster decisions after the team underachieved this season.
Eight Lakers players from this year’s roster enter unrestricted free agency this offseason. One of them is Carmelo Anthony and Ben Stinar of Sports Illustrated has urged the Atlanta Hawks to steal the future Hall of Famer from Los Angeles.
Anthony signed a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Lakers last summer. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists this season while shooting 44.1% from the field, 37.5% from beyond the arc and 83.0% from the free-throw line in 69 games.
The Hawks lost to the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2022 playoffs in five games. Stinar believes Anthony would be a good fit next to Trae Young, who led the league in total points and assists.
Anthony was actually a member of the Hawks during the summer of 2018. The Oklahoma City Thunder traded the scoring forward to Atlanta on July 25, 2018. Anthony never suited up for the Hawks, who waived Melo on July 30.
Anthony Is Comfortable in LA
According to Sean Deveney of Heavy, Anthony is comfortable living in Los Angeles and playing for the Lakers, who are led by his close friend, LeBron James.
“There is a comfort level with living in L.A. and playing there,” one NBA source told Deveney about Anthony. “The starting point on him coming back and not retiring is signing on with the Lakers and hoping that they fix the roster and the coaching situation. But it’s wide-open.”
Anthony spoke to reporters on April 11 and the former New York Knicks forward sounded noncommittal about his future with the Lakers, who missed the playoffs this season.
“This was another chapter for me,” Anthony said. “I can say I’ve experienced it. … I can finally check the box — played with Bron. Played with AD. We had, on paper — we were phenomenal on paper. Me, personally, I had a good year, personally. Just as far as happiness and being able to go out there and compete and being able to do my part, play my part on this team. There were good days, there were bad days, but we got through it, and I got through it.”
Anthony scored at least 20 points 11 times for the Lakers, proving he’s still a capable scorer off the bench. The one-time scoring champion continues to work for an NBA title, but Anthony doesn’t want to compromise his happiness for a ring.
Anthony Drops Truth Bomb on Ring Chasing
Anthony, the 11th-leading scorer in NBA history, doesn’t want to chase a ring if he’ll be “unhappy” in the situation. The six-time All-NBA swingman can still bring a lot to the game and know his value.
“I’m blessed,” Anthony said on April 11. “I’m still able to do this 19 years in and still able to enjoy it and still get motivated by it and love to go to work and love being around the guys. So a lot of times I’ll take that over a championship if I could because that’s my happiness. If I gotta be unhappy to try to go fight and win a championship, I don’t want that. I don’t want that unhappiness.
“So do I want a championship? Hell yeah. I don’t think that’s a question. I don’t even have to answer that, but I think at this point in my career, it’s about just being happy and being able to wake up and come to work every day with a good attitude. Being positive. Bring guys along with you. Teaching, talking, learning. Those are things that I actually look forward to now at this point in my career.”
Anthony is a career 35.5% shooter from beyond the arc. Every team in the NBA needs shooting, so the New York native should command interest from several teams in free agency.
I hope Carmello Anthony continues to play for the Lakers and when he is finished playing, I would like to see the Lakers hire him to work with the players. He wants to teach and talk. He would be a great ambassador for the Lakers. Kareme Abdul Jabar gave him the 2021 award for Social Justice Champion. He would be a great positive addition to the Lakers staff.