The Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason is not expected to end with the acquisition of LeBron James and three role players. The Lakers obviously need to acquire more quality players that could help James beat the mighty Golden State Warriors for the Western Conference supremacy and the team that will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals 2019.
According to Ethan Sears of New York Post, the “next person” to join LeBron James in Los Angeles is Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Carmelo Anthony. As most people expect, Anthony opted into the final year of his contract to stay with the Thunder. Anthony has publicly stated his frustration with his role as the Thunder’s third scoring option, but he must be aware that no NBA team will offer him $27.9 million if he chose to become an unrestricted free agent.
With his inability to make himself fit playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George, the Thunder may consider getting rid of Anthony either via trade or buying out his contract. Unless the Thunder are willing to accept Luol Deng in return, the Lakers are unlikely to waste trade assets for Anthony. As Sears noted, the Lakers will only be interested in adding Anthony to their roster if the Thunder will buy out his contract.
“The next person to join LeBron James in Los Angeles may be Carmelo Anthony. After the former star opted into the next year of his contract in Oklahoma City, Anthony is a logical buyout candidate. He’s 34, making a ton of money and not doing much to help the Thunder. What’s more, Anthony is a member of the Banana Boat crew and Los Angeles might be able to get him cheap if a buyout happens.”
3 ways OKC can move on from Carmelo Anthony this summer https://t.co/LHXf8UZOX6
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) July 3, 2018
Anthony’s numbers have tremendously gone down in his first year with the Thunder, but it was something that was expected to happen when he joined Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Still, no one can deny the fact the Anthony remains a reliable contributor on the offensive end of the floor. In his 15-year NBA career, the All-Star forward averaged 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 44.9 percent shooting from the field and 34.7 percent from beyond the arc.
LeBron James will surely love the idea of having one of his close pals team up with him in Los Angeles. James and Anthony played together for Team USA, so chemistry won’t be a problem when they join forces next season. However, the acquisition of Anthony may slow down the development of young forwards like Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram.