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2014 Free-Agency Status: Unrestricted (Early Termination Option)
Carmelo Anthony has the ability to terminate the final year of his contract with the Knicks and enter unrestricted free agency, which is a situation the Lakers need to monitor.
You might say there's no way 'Melo leaves the comfort of the Big Apple, leaves the team that has catered to his every need. But you might be wrong.
Nearly two years from now, if Anthony still doesn't have a ring on his finger—and let's face it, Isiah Thomas is more likely to resume head coaching duties in New York than the Knicks are to win a title by 2014—will Madison Square Garden still be as comfortable?
Absolutely not, especially if Amar'e Stoudemire fails to regain his swagger and Tyson Chandler breaks down.
Enter the Lakers.
Yes, Anthony will be a 30-year-old ball-stopper by then, but he can compress defenses the same way Howard does.
When 'Melo posts up and attacks the basket, he draws the opposition in, which will create a world of open looks at the rim for Howard himself.
And as far as Steve Nash goes, he's a disciple of Mike D'Antoni's run-and-gun offense, the same offense the point guard will try and inject elements of into Los Angeles' Princeton set, the same offense that saw Anthony score 37 points at the 2012 Olympics in under 15 minutes.
Yeah, that offense.
Factor in Kobe Bryant's potential retirement and the Lakers are really just moving from one prolific ball-stopper who has the ability to thrive as a spot-up shooter to another.