NBA Trade Rumors: How Carmelo Anthony To Los Angeles Changes The Playoff Picture

James Harrison Jr.@JamesHarrisonIIContributor IIFebruary 9, 2011

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 21:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center on January 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 107-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Earlier this year, trade rumors about Denver Nuggets' small forward Carmelo Anthony began to swirl around the media. Early discussions were becoming serious with the New Jersey Nets.

"I'm from Brooklyn," Said Anthony, "It's something you have to consider because they're relocating there, and it'd be cool to play close to home."

However, talks about the Nets landing Carmelo shorty died off and new teams joined the mix. Discussions between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New York Knicks surfaced. 

A deal was trying to be put into place that would send Anthony to New York, but although this deal is still in the works, it has been complicated by concerns over the Knicks forward Wilson Chandler, who would be the key component of the deal.

Over the last few days, it has been reported that there have been serious talks between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets organizations and as of now, this deal would not require a third team. 

A deal between the Lakers and the Nuggets would headline Carmelo Anthony and Lakers' center Andrew Bynum, but would most likely include more players.

Although Anthony could be considered a "rental" to any team that he is dealt to, he will make the biggest impact on the Los Angeles Lakers' roster. If you're only looking ahead for the rest of this season, Carmelo can make an instant impact on the Lakers. 

Averaging 24.6 points, and 7.8 rebounds per game, Anthony brings the kind of numbers that can change the complexion of the whole 2011 playoff picture for the LA Lakers and every other playoff bound team in the Western Conference.

Lamar Odom and Ron Artest are the two star forwards as of now for the LA Lakers, but recent concerns that the Lakers are starting to slip have fans nervous about what the playoffs hold for LA. Anthony brings a bit more youth to the roster, and can give the Lakers yet another option to generate points. 

The Lakers are 36-16, but within the Western Conference are the 43-8 Spurs, the 33-18 Thunder and the 31-22 Jazz.

But let's look ahead and say that the Lakers do make it to the NBA finals for the third straight year: Do they currently show enough talent and poise to keep up with the Celtics, Bulls or Heat?

The Lakers will do just fine in the regular season without Carmelo, but I'm not so sure I will expect much from them in the playoffs if they don't have Anthony wearing gold and purple. 

And even if Anthony is only there for half of a season, it will open up a lot of currently locked doors for the LA Lakers.