Having a plethora of trade assets, most people expected the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire their second superstar before the February NBA trade deadline. The Lakers aggressively pursued Anthony Davis from the time he informed the New Orleans Pelicans that he wouldn’t sign the massive contract extension that they are planning to offer next summer and wanted to be traded to a team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship.
Unfortunately, despite offering their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac, the Lakers were unable to convince the Pelicans to send Anthony Davis to Los Angeles. After acquiring Reggie Bullock from the Detroit Pistons, the Lakers traded Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Mike Muscala.
The deal with the Clippers gave the Lakers a big man who has the ability to space the floor, and it also enables them to create an open roster spot to sign a quality player who will soon be available on the buyout market. Several players have already been linked to the Lakers, including 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony.
“The Lakers plan to evaluate the full buyout market once it takes shape, but Carmelo Anthony is expected to be among the considerations too, league sources tell ESPN,” Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said on Twitter.
Since Carmelo Anthony became an unrestricted free agent, the Lakers have emerged as his top landing spot. Anthony is a close pal of Lakers superstar LeBron James and both are members of the infamous Banana Boat Crew. When the Rockets removed Anthony from their official rotation, James expressed his desire to have him on the Lakers and he said that it’s up to Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka to make the decision.
Though his fit in Los Angeles remains a big question mark, Carmelo Anthony will still be a good addition to the Lakers’ team that desperately needs more star power to make a deep playoff run in the 2018-19 NBA season. On Twitter, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that Anthony to the Lakers is a possibility, but the purple and gold are also keeping on eye on other buyout candidates. As McMenamin noted, the Lakers may consider using the open roster spot to acquire a point guard or a center.
“Carmelo Anthony is a possible addition for the Lakers, but not an inevitability a team source tells ESPN. LAL will monitor the buyout market and will also consider a piece that could fortify their depth at PG or C, two positions they’ve been hit with injuries this season.”
Aside from Carmelo Anthony, other potential targets for the Lakers include Wayne Ellington, DeAndre Jordan, and Trevor Ariza. Jordan and Ariza would be a better addition to the Lakers than Anthony, but both veterans have yet to be bought out by their respective teams.