Carmelo Anthony, Lakers Agree to Contract Amid Rumors of Knicks Reunion

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James and Portland Trail Blazers' Carmelo Anthony look on during the first quarter in Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony and the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a contract on Tuesday, his manager Bay Frazier told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Carmelo Anthony @carmeloanthony


This comes after NBA insider Marc Stein reported Monday night that Anthony was "weighing interest" from both the Lakers and the New York Knicks, where he previously spent six-plus seasons.

The Anthony addition is the latest move in what has been a busy offseason for the Lakers:

The Jump on ESPN @NBATheJump

Woj: Carmelo Anthony agrees to 1-year deal with Lakers #TheJump https://t.co/qBaAcKgCNS

Anthony, 37, has spent the last two seasons in Portland. He transitioned to a reserve role in 2020-21, averaging 13.4 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting a career-high 40.9 percent from three-point range.

While he briefly spent time coming off the bench in Houston three years ago, this was the first extended period of Anthony's career that he played as a reserve. He told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski he felt comfortable with the role after team management said it was committed to protecting his long-term legacy (h/t Aron Yohannes of The Oregonian): 

"In this league, and just in sports period, you don't hear things like that. You don't hear an organization, or the president of a professional organization, come to a player and sit down and let them know look 'I want to protect your legacy.' You don't hear people talk about that. You don't hear no one talk about other people's legacies, it's always, 'What can you do for us?'

"In this situation here in Portland, my biggest thing was let's be honest with each other. Let's be transparent with one another, whatever it is, let's put the options out there on the table and if I feel comfortable with that, then I'll get back to you guys and we can work on that."

Anthony is no longer at his Hall of Fame-level heights, but he's seemingly carved out a niche. If he can play 20-25 minutes per night and occasionally drop 20-plus points, this is a low-cost, decent-reward signing.

The Lakers are armed to the brim with Hall of Famers. The question will be fit. Anthony should slot in as a 20-minute guy on the edge of the rotation come playoff time.