When the 2018-19 NBA season officially came to an end, the Los Angeles Lakers emerged as the favorite to sign Carmelo Anthony in the 2019 NBA free agency. Unfortunately, after failing to acquire Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers snubbed Anthony and decided to use their salary cap space to sign Danny Green, Jared Dudley, DeMarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, and Troy Daniels. They also brought some of their own free agents back, like Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Alex Caruso.
Many people praised the Lakers with the roster they built around LeBron James and Anthony Davis this summer. However, there are still some who aren’t happy with the moves that the Lakers made in the 2019 NBA offseason. In a recent interview with Fanatics View, which is currently available on YouTube, former NBA first-round pick Royce White slammed the Lakers for signing the likes of Jared Dudley over Carmelo Anthony.
“We know that there’s no way that the Lakers would go out and sign Jared Dudley and not sign Carmelo Anthony,” White said, as quoted by ESPN. “And another question is, when a guy like LeBron is walking around out here like he’s the face and voice of the players, how is he letting his banana boat brother hang out there in the wings and then go sign Jared Dudley and not Carmelo? If anybody watching this thinks that Jared Dudley can hold Carmelo’s jock strap, I’ll slap you.”
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) August 14, 2019
Royce White believes that Carmelo Anthony is being “blackballed” in the NBA, adding that a player as good as him shouldn’t be having a hard time finding a new team. However, no one can blame NBA teams for not signing Anthony. Anthony is undeniably one of the best scorers in league history, but his combined stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets, where he played alongside Russell Westbrook, Paul George, James Harden, and Chris Paul, proved that he couldn’t coexist with other NBA superstars.
If their individual performances are the basis, Carmelo Anthony is undeniably much better than Jared Dudley. However, the Lakers might prefer adding a role player who could fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis than a ball-dominant superstar who is already on the downside of his NBA career. Compared to Anthony, Dudley can defend, knock down shots from beyond the arc, and excel in an off-ball capacity.
Since DeMarcus Cousins suffered an ACL injury, the Lakers have an open roster spot to sign a free agent. However, instead of signing Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers are reportedly planning to use it to acquire a big man that could fill the hole in their front court. As of now, some of the top candidates to replace Cousins are Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, and Marreese Speights.