It's really a very simple situation for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason. The team can be a legitimate contender in the Western Conference if it can sign Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol, or it will be an also-ran with Kobe Bryant and rookie Julius Randle supplying the occasional thrill.
Obviously, the Lakers and their fans would prefer the first option.
Like everyone else in the basketball world, the Lakers were awaiting the decision of LeBron James, whom Carmelo Anthony apparently seemed to be waiting on as well.
Here's the latest information in the pursuit of Anthony, Gasol and a few role players.
L.A. Customizing Their Pitch to Suit Melo's Wife
If most of Melo's decision is based on the desires of his wife, actress La La Anthony, then the Lakers may be making the right pitch.
Per Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, the team sees La La as a major factor.
James Worthy cites "La La" as critical factor in Lakers' sales pitch to Carmelo Anthony http://t.co/2vcumA8vUM— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 10, 2014
It remains to be seen whether La La truly prefers to live in L.A. full time, and whether her wishes will be the driving point in Carmelo's decision.
Either way, it's a smart pitch from a Lakers standpoint.
Lakers Still Love Gasol
Despite a Laker tenure that was wrought with trade rumors, there's still apparently mutual interest between the team and Pau Gasol.
Can confirm that Mitch Kupchak met again with Pau Gasol yesterday at Lakers' practice facility. @SpearsNBAYahoo first reported— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 10, 2014
Unless the Lakers land Melo, their roster doesn't measure up to any of Gasol's other suitors.
Role Players on the Radar
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders talked about the Lakers' Plan B options, as well as some potential role players the team could add for depth:
L.A. apparently has expressed interest in bringing back Steve Blake after shipping him to Golden State at the deadline. Kent Bazemore returning to L.A. is possible as well, as they have been in contact with his camp.
You can scratch Blake from that list as of Thursday, per CBS Sports' Ken Berger.
Steve Blake's deal with Portland is a two-year, $4.2 million deal with a player option for year two, league source says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 10, 2014
With Jordan Farmar choosing to play with the Lakers' Staples Center rival the L.A. Clippers, the options at point guard are getting sparse. We'll have to wait and see who the team targets next for the position.
The Lakers would be smart to bring back the energetic and athletic Bazemore for depth on the wing. In 25 games with the team last season, Bazemore averaged 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and made 37 percent of his three-point attempts.
As a bench player, he'd be a perfect fit on a contending team.
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