Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Carmelo Anthony Joining LeBron James in LA

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured 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 may have given Carmelo Anthony the NBA lifeline he's been looking for.

According to The Athletic's Joe Vardon, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar wants Anthony to join him in L.A.

Interest for Anthony's services has been low since he and the Houston Rockets mutually agreed to part ways, but James believes that his fellow member of the 2003 draft class can still play and offer a much-needed veteran presence to the Lakers young core.

Vardon also reported that James doesn't want the sun to set on Anthony's career on a sour note, namely due to the legacy-damaging stops in Oklahoma City and Houston.

"Sources said there had been no request made by James to Lakers president Magic Johnson or general manager Rob Pelinka to make a deal for his friend," Vardon wrote. "Nor would there be."

Last month, when the Rockets made the announcement that Anthony's tenure with the team was over, James and former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade showed their support by retweeting a tweet from The Associated Press' Tim Reynolds that read, "Melo deserves better than this."

When James was asked about the prospect of Anthony coming to L.A., though, he didn't exactly deliver a ringing endorsement.

"I have no idea to be honest," he told reporters. "That's not a question to ask me. Right now, we have 15 roster spots right? We don't have a roster spot open right now so that's not a question for myself."

The fact that James now wants Anthony in a Lakers uniform is one thing, but seeing it actually happen is another.

The team's front office initially scoffed at the idea of bringing the 34-year old forward into the fold, per The New York Times' Marc Stein, but that thinking may have been altered since the Michael Beasley experiment hasn't exactly worked out.

Vardon suggested that L.A. could trade Beasley in a deal with the Rockets for Anthony and a possible late second round pick or, if Houston waived him, make room for him by unloading a player from their current roster.

The question is, should the Lakers roll the dice?

"Not really, no," an anonymous league executive told Vardon. "If LeBron really wants him, it might not matter. Magic should fight him on it. I know I would."

Should L.A. want to make a deal for Anthony, they'll need to wait until Dec. 15, when he can be traded by the Rockets, who promised the 16-year veteran when they made the decision to move on after only 10 games that they were "working toward a resolution."

Anthony, who averaged a career-low 13.4 points per game this season, signed a league-minimum, one-year, $2.4 million contract this past summer with Houston after he was traded from OKC to the Atlanta Hawks and was bought out.

He was supposed to be a suitable replacement for the outgoing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, but there were concerns about his ability to defend and his willingness to come off the bench.

The Syracuse standout did accept his role, though, serving as a reserve for eight games and a starter for two, but Houston was a disappointing 4-6 in that span.

"In the summer, we tried to hit a home run. It didn't work out," D'Antoni said, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. "He tried everything he could. He was great while he was here. It just didn't work out for whatever reason. I just thank him for his professionalism."

Melo hasn't played a game since Nov. 8, so he'll likely be ecstatic to get back on the court, especially if it's with one of his best friends.

And James, well, he'll get the chance to play with another member of his Banana Boat quartet.

"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," James told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck back in 2016. "It would be pretty cool. I've definitely had thoughts about it."  

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