Although previous reports have suggested the Los Angeles Lakers have no plans of acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the Houston Rockets, there has been increased speculation as of late that the 16-year NBA veteran might soon be teaming up with his draft classmate and fellow multiple-time All-NBA selection. That speculation was fueled on Monday night, when LeBron and Melo were spotted having dinner with their wives at a New York City steakhouse.
The sighting was first reported Tuesday morning by TMZ Sports, which published photos of James and Anthony leaving the Quality Italian steakhouse on Monday night. While the publication noted that it’s likely the two NBA stars and longtime friends were catching up on old times ahead of the Lakers’ scheduled game against the host Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, it was also suggested that there might have been some “shop talk” going on behind the scenes.
The above report came on the heels of a separate piece from TMZ Sports, where former NBA player John Salley told one of the publication’s photographers that he believes Carmelo Anthony will join the Los Angeles Lakers before the NBA’s All-Star break in February. While he ultimately “started to play [it] coy,” Salley further opined that the best way for Anthony to win his first NBA championship would be to team up with LeBron James.
Despite Salley’s optimism regarding the possibility of the Lakers somehow trading for Anthony, reports from earlier this month pointed to the opposite. Citing league sources, the Los Angeles Times‘ Broderick Turner suggested that Anthony moving to the Lakers has “always been a long shot,” especially since James and Kyle Kuzma, who are both healthy, also play both forward positions. The publication, however, also acknowledged an earlier rumor from The Athletic‘s Joe Vardon, who hinted at James’ interest in bringing Anthony to Los Angeles.
— New York Post (@nypost) December 18, 2018
“Does James really think Anthony can help the Lakers? It doesn’t matter. Management knows better. Everyone knows better. But by attaching his name to Anthony, James is trying to help a friend who has been left behind by an evolving NBA,” the Los Angeles Times wrote.
As recalled by Bleacher Report, Carmelo Anthony’s stint with the Houston Rockets did not go as well as expected after he signed a one-year contract to play for the team this season. After averaging career-lows of 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 10 games, it was announced in November that Anthony will not be rejoining the team, though he still remains on the Rockets’ official roster as of this writing.