Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Carmelo Anthony, Patty Mills and More
The Los Angeles Lakers entered the offseason with only five players under contract for the 2021-22 season. So they needed to get to work on constructing their roster. And they've wasted no time in doing so.
First, the Lakers acquired point guard Russell Westbrook in a trade with the Washington Wizards last Thursday, adding him to a core that already featured LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That trio is going to make Los Angeles difficult to beat next season.
Then, the Lakers were busy on Monday, which is when teams could begin agreeing to deals with free agents. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Los Angeles is bringing back center Dwight Howard and forward Trevor Ariza. The Lakers are also signing guard Wayne Ellington Jr., per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
However, there are likely to be more notable moves on the horizon for Los Angeles. Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the Lakers as free agency continues.
Anthony 'Weighing Interest' from Lakers and Knicks
Although rumors had circulated about Carmelo Anthony potentially coming to Los Angeles to team up with James, nothing materialized on Monday. In fact, it seems the 37-year-old forward is considering another option, which will give him an important decision to make.
According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, Anthony is "weighing interest" from both the Lakers and the New York Knicks. While he's never played in Los Angeles before, he's quite familiar with New York, having played for the Knicks from 2011 to 2017.
Anthony has had a tremendous 18-year NBA career, but he's never won a championship. If he joins the Lakers, he could have a strong chance to do so in 2022. But the Knicks are on the rise, as they made the playoffs this past season for the first time since 2013.
Whichever team Anthony joins, he's proved he can still be a solid contributor. Last season with the Portland Trail Blazers, he averaged 13.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 69 games while serving in a bench role.
Lakers Making a Run at Mills Early in Free Agency
The Lakers acquired their new starting point guard when they traded for Westbrook. But they may end up landing another player who will help them facilitate their offense next season.
ESPN's Jordan Schultz reported that the Lakers and Golden State Warriors are both "making a run" at free-agent point guard Patty Mills, who has spent the past 10 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. Stein had reported that the Brooklyn Nets were also in pursuit of Mills, but Schultz reported that's "not very likely" to happen.
A 12-year NBA veteran, Mills would be a valuable addition to the Lakers' rotation. He's been a strong scorer coming off the bench for the Spurs, and he's posted the two highest scoring averages of his career the past two seasons—11.6 points per game in 2019-20 and 10.8 this past season.
If Mills goes to either Los Angeles or Golden State, he'll be joining a team that should have an opportunity to make a deep playoff run next season either way.
Bazemore to Have 'Major Role' with Lakers Next Season?
On Monday, the Lakers agreed to a one-year deal with wing player Kent Bazemore, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. But Bazemore apparently had another offer on the table.
According to Mark Medina of USA Today, Bazemore was "offered more money" from the Warriors, who he played two seasons with at the start of his career and then returned to last season. Bazemore had reasons for why he signed with the Lakers instead, though.
"Bazemore agreed to join the Lakers on a one-year deal because he views them as a title contender and is told he'll have a major role," Medina tweeted.
Bazemore has been a solid player throughout his nine-year NBA career. This past season, he averaged 7.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 67 games for Golden State.
Lakers Opted Not to Give Caruso a Counteroffer
After spending his first four NBA seasons with the Lakers, Alex Caruso is on the move for the first time in his career. On Thursday, the 27-year-old point guard agreed to a four-year, $37 million deal with the Chicago Bulls, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, as Caruso will reunite with former Lakers teammate Lonzo Ball.
Once Chicago gave Caruso a big offer, it seems that Los Angeles had an opportunity to try to convince him to stay. But that didn't happen, according to The Athletic's Sam Amick.
"According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Caruso's camp went back to the Lakers after the Bulls made their offer and were told that there would be no counter," Amick wrote.
Caruso was a solid bench player during his time in Los Angeles, which included helping the Lakers win the NBA title in 2020. He averaged 6.4 points in 58 games this past season.