At the time the NBA suspended its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Los Angeles Lakers were reigning atop the Western Conference with a 49-14 record, mainly fueled by the performances of superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While it’s still far from clear if or when the 2019-20 season will ever resume, there have been some trade or free-agency rumors and suggestions flying around, including one that recommends Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony as a potential target for the Lakers during the 2020 offseason.
In a list of five possible offseason acquisitions for the Lakers, Fadeaway World noted that Anthony had been posting solid numbers for the Trail Blazers prior to the season’s suspension. While the 35-year-old was averaging 15.2 points and 6.3 rebounds for Portland, the team had also struggled for most of the year, with its 29-37 record only good for ninth place in the Western Conference.
“Melo would love the opportunity to compete for a title and provide bench scoring for a team that lacks any productivity when LeBron James gets breathers on the bench,” the outlet posited. “Not to mention, Melo will finally put to rest the noise that he never even came close to an NBA championship before.”
With this bucket, Carmelo Anthony moves into 17th on the all-time scoring list. pic.twitter.com/TcLXcNqmqz
— NBA (@NBA) January 30, 2020
As a 17-year NBA veteran who was picked two spots behind first-overall selection James in the 2003 NBA Draft, Anthony has career averages of 23.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists, though as FanBuzz pointed out, he has only made it past the first round of the playoffs twice in 11 appearances. He is, however, a 10-time All-Star and former league scoring leader who was one of the more talked-about free-agent targets before the Trail Blazers signed him in November. This came one season after he was limited to just 10 games during his ill-fated stint with the Houston Rockets.
Rumors linking Anthony to the Purple and Gold are nothing new, as it was widely reported in the weeks leading to his move to Portland that the Lakers were among his top options as he remained unsigned during the 2019 offseason.
In August 2019, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith claimed that James had vouched for Anthony “on several occasions,” with the four-time MVP supposedly trying to convince Lakers management to sign the veteran forward to give the team more options on offense. In the end, however, the team decided to pass on Anthony and have since turned elsewhere to improve their scoring punch off the bench, acquiring Markieff Morris and Dion Waiters via the buyout market in the weeks that followed the February 6 trade deadline.