Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James have a long history as opponents and as teammates, and now the two may have the chance to finally play on the same NBA team together, a new report suggests.
As ESPN reported, Anthony is on his way out of Oklahoma City as the Thunder look to unload his massive contract and free up some much-needed cap space. The process is still being finalized, but there are already plenty of rumors about where Anthony could end up next. The Thunder could still trade Anthony, but any team on the receiving end would likely be planning to waive Anthony and allow him to become a free agent.
Where Carmelo Anthony ends up next is still up in the air, but Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports reported that he is high on moving to Los Angeles and teaming up with LeBron James. The two — who competed against each other in high school and later became teammates on the U.S. Men’s Team — have reportedly long considered playing on an NBA team together, and Anthony’s addition could help build a stronger team around LeBron with the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been in the thick of the NBA rumors since long before the start of free agency. Many had predicted that LeBron would jump to the Lakers, a move that had reportedly been on his radar for years. Now, the Lakers are rumored to be seeking to build an even stronger team around him, with a possible trade looming for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.
If Carmelo Anthony does join the Los Angeles Lakers, it could be in a different role than he has seen in the past. Though Anthony bristled at the idea of coming off the bench in Oklahoma City, his declining productivity suggests that he is no longer an NBA starter, Bleacher Report noted. And signing Anthony would not in itself vault the Lakers to a title contender, the report added.
“With the addition of James, the Lakers are now in title-contending mode, but they have done little else to actually become a serious threat to the Golden State Warriors,” the report noted. “Signing Anthony wouldn’t change that, either. He shot a career-low 40.4 percent from the field in 2017-18, and the Thunder had a minus-14.3 net rating with him on the floor in the playoffs,” according to NBA.com.
So far, Carmelo Anthony has not spoken up about the NBA rumors regarding his Oklahoma City exit or where he would like to play next.