The current Los Angeles Lakers offseason has been a tough one, but the club has been sending signals that offer hope for the future.
One of the leaked rumors—courtesy of ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne—is that L.A. will be gunning for both Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James next summer, with ownership hoping to add the two crown jewels of the free-agent class and completely change the direction the franchise is headed in.
Those are certainly big aspirations and would be a marked improvement over this year’s big free-agency moves—which basically amount to the major losses of Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace and minor additions of Chris Kaman and Nick Young.
Will this grandiose plan actually come to fruition, or will reality humble even the mighty Lakers? Let’s take a look at the latest news on that front and more.
‘Melo Doubts He Will Join Lakers
Carmelo Anthony shed a bit of light onto his future plans this week, as the superstar swingman told a TMZ paparazzo that he “doubts” he will wear a purple and gold uniform next season.
Of course, the New York Knicks forward was just attempting to leave after having dinner at Craig’s restaurant in Hollywood before being accosted by the paparazzi, so this revelation should be taken with a grain of salt.
‘Melo seemed highly uninterested in fielding the reporter’s questions and only did so while he waited for his car to arrive via valet service.
When it comes down to it, the veteran will likely survey his various options and the landscape of the league in order to make the best choice of his family and his career.
Don’t completely discount the Lakers based on these comments, although they certainly don’t inspire much hope for fans.
Paul George Unlikely to Defect to L.A.
If the Lakers can’t nab Anthony, Paul George would be an excellent consolation prize.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like L.A. has a great chance of landing the emerging superstar.
Speaking on the possibility of playing for his hometown team, George had this to say (as per Stein):
"I'm happy, man. I'm happy in Indiana. It's overwhelming (to hear) that they would want a player like me to come play for their team. But right now I'm focused on Indiana. I'm happy to be in Indiana. Our future is bright in Indiana. I wouldn't want to leave something great."
It’s currently doubtful that the Lakers will even be able to make an offer to George, as a source close to the situation says it is a “foregone conclusion” that the All-Star receives a maximum extension from Indy prior to the Oct. 31 deadline.
Unless something drastic happens, L.A. will have to find another young star to get its hopes up over.
Rambis Joining D’Antoni’s Staff Soon
There is a bit of good news in Laker Land, as former assistant coach and fan favorite Kurt Rambis is going to be back in the fold.
After working as an assistant for the better part of a decade, Rambis elected to become the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach in 2009—a post he held until he was fired in 2011.
He then joined ESPN as an analyst, a position he will be giving up to take another gig on the Lakers bench.
Rambis knows how to win, as the former forward holds eight rings from his time in L.A., stemming from his efforts as a player, coach and front office member.
Given the difficulties in Los Angeles last year and the amount of turnover in the assistant ranks, Rambis will be a welcome addition when his contract is finally ironed out.