NBA free agency and the offseason is a time for dreamers, and in the case of the Miami Heat, those dreams sometimes materialize into reality, as well as open possibilities which may not have existed before.
Before LeBron James signed his name on the dotted line and cemented a concentration of stars in Miami, few observers felt the odds of it transpiring was real. But in the wake of that historic move, thoughts shift to other potential superstar pairings.
Much of the talk recently has centered around Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and the various teams who could be in the running for each of the superstar's abilities.
The New York Knicks have dominated the conversation in regards to where Anthony may wind up, but if the Los Angeles Lakers are smart, they will recognize the opportunity that may have presented itself.
Anthony will be an unrestricted free agent next season, and if his championship ambitions are the same as James', he should give the Lakers a long, hard look before thinking about the big apple.
Most observers feel the Heat will eventually be the center of the basketball universe, and since it's unlikely Anthony can join that trio, he should consider the only team that stands between Miami and complete league domination, the Lakers.
If Anthony decided to join the Knicks, he would run the risk of being a perennial doormat to Miami. However, if he chose to take his talents to Los Angeles, he could be a part of something which would be every bit as special as the Heat's trio.
Of course this is only speculation and many may consider the idea of Anthony joining the Lakers implausible, but the history of the franchise and their current situation does leave a small window of possibility.
Los Angeles has long been a premier destination for the NBA's superstars, and a good bit of the Lakers' championship legacy has been formed by players who chose to ditch their teams in favor of the purple and gold.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, and Pau Gasol are three players who established themselves as stars of other teams, but found their legacies defined once they joined the Lakers.
Anthony could add his name to this list of superstar defectors, and like Gasol before him, he would likely see the immediate benefits of a decision to join Los Angeles.
Gasol never managed to push the Memphis Grizzlies past the first round of the playoffs, but since he was traded to Los Angeles in 2007, the Lakers have made the NBA Finals each season, and won the last two championships.
Anthony would be entering an even better situation than Gasol, and although the Lakers would have to do some very creative tinkering with their roster, it's not that far out of the realm of possibility.
It's doubtful the Lakers could make a deal for Anthony this season, but if the chance presents itself, are Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown, Josh Powell, and D.J. Mbenga expendable?
Maybe the Lakers could subtract Odom from the equation and add Ron Artest, and the two recent Lakers' draft picks to make the deal even more attractive to Denver, who would be entering rebuilding mode if Anthony departed.
The Nuggets have to be contemplating a sign-and-trade deal for Anthony, because if he refuses to re-sign, Denver could possibly lose the cornerstone of their franchise with no compensation at all.
What team in the NBA could afford to offer the same quality of players previously mentioned, in exchange for Anthony without ruining the composition of their team?
Certainly not the Knicks, and all of the other players who are the same caliber of talent as Anthony have already been locked up in this year's tumultuous free agency period.
A Lakers' line-up featuring Kobe Bryant, Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Anthony would arguably consist of the top two or three players at their respective positions, and would send shivers of fear throughout the rest of the league.
Not even South Beach's super team could stand tall in the face of this roster, and ironically, it was Miami who made it possible to even consider this scenario at all.
Before James and Chris Bosh joined Wade in Miami, many felt that all of the league's younger superstars would shape their own destinies separate from each other; but the course of the NBA has changed.
If Anthony's goal is to win championships, then his options are limited unless he goes to a team who is ready to compete for championships right now, a team like the Los Angeles Lakers.