After the Rockets announced they were finished with Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James said it wasn’t his place to determine whether the Lakers should acquire Anthony. Then, LeBron put out word he wants Anthony on the Lakers – but only under the cover of anonymity and with the caveat he wouldn’t go to management with that desire.
Now, LeBron is openly addressing the possibility of Anthony joining the Lakers.
Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register:
Last month in Orlando, LeBron said it wasn’t a question for him if Carmelo Anthony should join the Lakers. Tonight, he said he would love if the opportunity presents itself, and “obviously there’s some things that need to be worked out on both sides.” pic.twitter.com/jXyetKRauj
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) December 19, 2018
We’ll see. I don’t run the team. Obviously, there are some things that need to be worked out on both sides. But I’ve always wanted to play along with Melo, and if the opportunity presents itself, it’ll be great. So, we’ll see what happens.
The Lakers acquiring Anthony is complicated. He’s still under contract with Houston (though the Rockets would gladly buy him out or trade him to Los Angeles for nothing). The Lakers have a full roster. Anthony might be washed up.
Is LeBron signally he wants more veteran help? The Lakers (18-13) are near the high end of their reasonable projections. The Warriors’ season has been rockier than expected. No matter how much LeBron indicated he’d take a multi-year approach in Los Angeles, he could see a window to chase a title this season.
LeBron’s history of passive-aggressiveness means we shouldn’t ignore these comments. I still doubt the Lakers get Anthony – or even Davis, who’d make far more sense but probably isn’t available. Their big move likely comes this summer, when the Pelicans will know if Davis rejects a super-max extension and Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant will be free agents.
But if LeBron is angling for roster upgrades this season, that’s something for the Lakers to manage. Winning while he remains in his prime should be the priority, but it also might be too late for this season. The last thing the Lakers want to do is push in for the present, fall short and be left less-equipped for future seasons.