Should the Lakers sign Carmelo Anthony?
In a previous post, I discussed rumours involving Carmelo Anthony's future. This speculation came from ESPN's Brian Windhorst, who said that NBA executives believe the 34-year-old has played his last game in the league. Earlier this season, he played with the Houston Rockets - having received a buyout from the Atlanta Hawks after a trade deal was agreed between themselves and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Last season, the Rockets were the Western Conference's best team - finishing the regular season with an impressive 65-17 record. Their playoff campaign came to an end after losing a seven-game series in the WC Finals against eventual champions Golden State, but they remained a contender and signing Anthony initially appeared like an encouraging move.
However, his stint was short-lived. On November 15, Carmelo and the Rockets decided to part ways and now he's inactive, pondering his future in the game. They are unable to trade him until December 15, so an additional week from now. With that in mind, they should consider any trade offers they receive but naturally, also anticipate not receiving any.
Reports suggest LeBron wants Carmelo
If speculation is true, no-one seems prepared to take a chance on Carmelo. If so, his illustrious NBA career could be over. However, one of his closest friends is unhappy with the way he has been scapegoated and wants to give him another opportunity to play.
LeBron James, Carmelo's good friend and fellow 2003 Draft class member, wants him to join his Los Angeles Lakers. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, James believes that Anthony can still play and contribute to the Lakers. He also does not want to see his friend's career end the way it potentially will - instead finishing on a better note, like Dwyane Wade.
James wants Anthony on the Lakers, though the franchise themselves are not interested. According to Brad Turner of the LA Times, Anthony and his team called them a while back. However, they remain unmoved. Turner also said LeBron hasn't spoken to their front office about acquiring Carmelo, meaning it's very unlikely.
Could this deal actually happen?
Currently placed fifth in the Western Conference, the Lakers have a 15-9 record at present. A young, talented team, there is still much room for improvement and Carmelo's presence would prove a surprising one: another veteran to guide them, but equally not without sacrifice.
Should he want to join the Lakers, he should accept a reduced role. He does not have to play heavy minutes, start or be a key scoring option. His reluctance to accept reduced responsibilities from the substitutes' bench hindered his ceiling with the Thunder and Rockets over the past two years and should he want to prolong his professional career, he must accept a new role.
Anthony joining the Lakers could be an ideal way to end his career. He'll play alongside one of his close friends and could potentially go deep in the Playoffs in 2019. If nothing else, Carmelo could end his career on an enjoyable, positive note. It remains to be seen though.