The Los Angeles Lakers are going to have a hard time improving their roster this summer but are still a major draw for veterans in search of a championship. It is time for LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to finally play together as the two have discussed publicly throughout their careers.
Aside from his connection to James, the case for Anthony to join the Lakers is simple as Los Angeles needs another veteran shooter with playoff experience. This would be more than ring chasing for Anthony as the forward played a critical role in the Blazers’ playoff runs the last two seasons. Anthony averaged 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 40.9% from the three-point line in 24.5 minutes per game this season. During a 2019 interview on ESPN’s First Take, Anthony admitted that he “1,000 percent” wanted to play on the Lakers with James.
“One thousand percent. We’ve talked about it since we were 18, 19 years old,” Anthony said at the time, per Bleacher Report. “We reached out to a lot of people. The Lakers has been one of them. The Clippers has been one of them. We reaching out, we talking, it’s dialogues with certain teams. I don’t want to get into specifics, but there’s conversations.”
LeBron & Carmelo Have Expressed Mutual Interest in Playing Together Throughout Their Careers
So far, the stars have not aligned for James and Anthony to team up together. This could change this offseason as Anthony once again becomes a free agent. During a 2018 interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, James noted he still had an interest in playing with Anthony.
“I don’t know. I mean, listen, it’s just my opinion,” James explained. “But it’s not like I lit a fire in anybody’s a–. It’s just my opinion. People ask me questions, ‘Hey, how do you feel …’ and you know, I think it would it be great to have Carmelo Anthony be on the Lakers. I believe Melo can still play the game. I believe I can help Melo. I know Melo better than Melo knows himself at times, and vice versa. So if the opportunity presents itself I would welcome it. That’s what it all boils down to.”
LeBron on Team Banana Boat: ‘I Really Hope That, Before Our Career is Over, We Can All Play Together’
There has been plenty of speculation about potential moves the Lakers could make to add another star this offseason. The reality is the Lakers have no cap space and very few tradeable assets. The Lakers most plausible moves are re-signing their own key free agents like Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker while also adding smaller pieces like Anthony.
The forward played on a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Blazers last season. James has often talked about team banana boat but this full squad is not possible with Dwyane Wade retired. Chris Paul could become a free agent this summer but will demand a more lucrative contract than the Lakers can offer without pulling off an elaborate sign-and-trade. Anthony is the most realistic option to join the Lakers of James’ infamous banana boat squad.
“I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together,” James told Bleacher Report in 2017. “At least one, maybe one or two seasons—me, Melo, D-Wade, CP—we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that.”