Lakers Rumors: Latest News on LA's Draft and Free-Agent Strategies

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 26, 2014

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, left, and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony prior to their NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-82.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers aren't used to having lottery selections. The team is apparently exploring all options as it decides what to do with the No. 7 pick.

Likewise, the Lakers are looking into ways to better the roster through free agency. Recent reports indicate that the team's brightest current star is willing to help lure in one of the biggest fish.

Kobe Bryant Will Recruit Carmelo Anthony

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 29:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk during the first half at Staples Center on December 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Despite previously saying he would not recruit his former Team USA teammate, Bryant has apparently shifted gears.

Per ESPN.com's Chris Broussard, Bryant will indeed reach out to Anthony to gauge and hopefully influence a decision that might bring him to L.A. Broussard writes:

Though the Los Angeles Lakers are not on Anthony's current list, Bryant plans to recruit him to the team. Bryant, who is close with Anthony, spoke to him by telephone when they were in separate parts of Europe earlier this week.

Bryant told ESPN.com in a text message that he plans to meet with Anthony, as well.

Broussard reports that Anthony plans to visit the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks, but if a guy like Bryant calls, you'd have to at least think Anthony would listen. Anthony talks about the process of making a free-agent decision in the interview from Vice Sports below:

Because the Lakers already have some cap room available, they could likely offer Melo a decent deal without making moves. That said, dumping some dead weight could potentially allow the Lakers to sweeten the deal for Melo and another acquisition.

Dangling Steve Nash and the No. 7 Pick

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 7: Michael Carter-Williams #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Wells Fargo Center on February 7, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees tha
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Marcus Smart would be an excellent addition to the Lakers roster, but there's talk that the team may be willing to part with the pick it could use to nab Smart.

ESPN.com's Chad Ford (Insider subscription required) says: "The Lakers have been very active in looking for a veteran for their pick. Players like Klay Thompson, Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young are all interesting to them. This is a team that wants to win now. Randle or Smart could help, but a veteran will be even more ready."

Smart appears to have the leadership and skills to carry the torch from Kobe, but as Ford mentions, the Lakers are a win-now organization.

MCW would be a nice backcourt piece and potential heir for Bryant. Dumping Nash would give the Lakers even more salary-cap flexibility. If it helps the team nab Melo and more, it will be a great move.

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