Lakers Rumors: LeBron James Wants Carmelo Anthony to Join LA

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20:  LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets wait for and inbound at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

LeBron James is interested in making his good friend Carmelo Anthony a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to The Athletic's Joe Vardon.

Per Vardon, James believes Anthony could help a young Lakers roster that has dealt with a number of injuries already this season. Point guard Rajon Rondo (hand) and forward Brandon Ingram (ankle) are both currently sidelined.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Lakers may have interest in Anthony after the Michael Beasley signing has not worked out.

As for Anthony, the 10-time All-Star has been out of action for nearly a month, last appearing in a game back on Nov. 8. He spent the offseason on the move, being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks before ultimately being bought out. In the end, he wound up signing with the Houston Rockets for the veteran's minimum of $2.4 million. He also accepted a bench role for the first time in his career.

However, his time in Houston did not go as hoped.

Anthony averaged 13.4 points on 40.5 percent shooting and 5.4 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game. While those are respectable numbers, the Rockets got off to just a 4-6 start after winning an NBA-best 65 games a season ago. Ultimately, the team decided to end the experiment after just 10 games.

In the meantime, the two sides have been looking for a potential landing spot for the 16-year veteran.

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Before signing with Houston, Anthony had drawn interest from the Lakers and the Miami Heat. When news of Anthony's stint of the Rockets coming to an end broke, though, James said he had "no idea" if his team would make a run at his buddy.

James and Anthony have a relationship that dates back to their high school days, and they both entered the league together in 2003. 

As the two stars previously revealed to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, James, Anthony and Dwyane Wade had once discussed entering free agency together in 2010...and then Anthony signed a five-year deal in 2006 that threw a wrench in the plans. With that, the Big 3 wound up being James, Wade and Chris Bosh, not Anthony, in the summer of 2010.

James has teamed up with Wade in both Miami and Cleveland, but he has not been able to link up with either of the other two Banana Boat members, Anthony and Chris Paul. But he made it clear he would welcome playing with both players.

"I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together," James told Beck. "At least one, maybe one or two seasons—me, Melo, D-Wade, CP—we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that."

Well, Wade is retiring after this season, and Paul signed a four-year deal with the Rockets this past summer. A Banana Boat squad may not be in the cards, but James and Anthony may have the opportunity to team up for the first time in their NBA careers.

Anthony, however, can't be traded until Dec. 15 as the result of signing as a free agent during the offseason. If the Rockets waive him, the Lakers would need to have an open spot on the roster.