Lakers Rumors: LA Interested in Carmelo Anthony If a Roster Spot Opens

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets reacts to his offensive foul during a 124-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are interested in Carmelo Anthony if he becomes a free agent.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Lakers will not open a roster spot for Melo but would be interested should they find a taker for any of the players on their roster ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

The Lakers have 15 players currently on their roster.

Anthony, who is currently on the Chicago Bulls roster despite neither side having any intention of him playing for the organization, was in attendance for Sunday's game between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks. He received a raucous ovation from the Madison Square Garden crowd and told MSG Network he appreciated the love.

"The energy has always been good [in the arena]. The fans have always been good," Anthony said. "The fans have always been good to me too. This is home; New York is home. Family is here, friends [are] here. So you can't beat this energy."

The Bulls are expected to either trade Melo before the Feb. 7 deadline or waive him thereafter. He spent 10 games with the Houston Rockets earlier this season before the two sides agreed to mutually part ways. The 10-time All-Star averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds on 40.5 percent shooting while playing a reserve role for the first time in his career.

"At this point, I just want to be happy," Anthony said. "I think I've put myself in a good, peaceful mind state right now, [being] able to focus in on what I need to focus in on. And whatever's going to make me happy, then we're going to make it happen."

The Lakers don't have much of a basketball need for Melo. Kyle Kuzma, LeBron James and Brandon Ingram soak up most of the minutes at the 3-4 spots. Melo is also a defensive liability for a Lakers team that is already shaky in a number of spots on that end.

In fact, Melo's final chapter may be best spent out of contention. The love he got from Knicks fans Sunday is real, and he probably never would have left the organization if it weren't for a rift with Phil Jackson. With the Knicks tanking, bringing in Melo for the stretch run and giving him carte blanche to gun up a bunch of shots and entertain the Garden fans could be a win-win.