Report: Lakers had discussions with Carmelo Anthony last year but “unlikely” to sign him now

Carmelo Anthony
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 20: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets wait for and inbound at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers are heading into training camp and the regular season with an open roster spot in case of a trade or buyout. Some have speculated that the team would look at Carmelo Anthony to fill that last spot, given the future Hall of Famer’s relationship with LeBron James.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Lakers did have discussions about Anthony joining the team last year but they seem to be an “unlikely” option after their free agency signings this July:

“Anthony has been trying to find his way back into the NBA after the Houston Rockets parted ways with him in November, and despite discussions with teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, the 10-time All-Star remains unsigned.”

Charania continues:

The Lakers discussed the signing of Anthony last season and now have one roster spot open, but appear to be an unlikely option.

Kurt Rambis, who is now a significant part of the Lakers’ front office, was part of the Knicks’ Phil Jackson regime that had a tumultuous final stretch with Anthony.

The fact of the matter is that Anthony is nowhere near the player he was during his prime. He has also not played in an NBA game since last November. And while the Lakers may think of him as a high-ceiling addition that could elevate the team in some instances, they have a glut of power forwards and centers on the team that will push Melo to the bench. It’s unlikely that the former superstar would enjoy that role even if it would give him the opportunity to play in the league again.

The Lakers were mentioned as a Melo destination several times last year but ultimately were always reported to be unlikely to sign him even as injuries and drama plagued the team. Now with a full roster and championship aspirations, it’s probably even more unlikely that they sign Anthony, who has been working out with Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma this summer.

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