The friendship between LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony may be the most prominent friendship within the NBA. LeBron had his time playing with Wade in Miami (and less notably in Cleveland), but he’s never had an opportunity to play with Paul or Anthony. Paul is now the last member of the “Banana Boat” gang to not play with LeBron, as Carmelo Anthony will reportedly be signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the deal, which will be a one-year deal between the Lakers and Anthony.
Free agent F Carmelo Anthony has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, his manager Bay Frazier tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
Carmelo Anthony has an opportunity to earn some real minutes on this Lakers team alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Say what you want about his age and his poor defense, but Anthony continues to show flashes of when he was one of the best scorers in NBA history for the Nuggets and Knicks.
He was nearly out of the league at a certain point, reviving his career alongside Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum on the Portland Trail Blazers. In two seasons with the team, Anthony shot 39.9% from three-point distance on 4.0 attempts per game. Overall he averaged 14.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He started every game he played for them in the 2019-20 season, only averaging 24.5 minutes per game in the 2020-21 season as he was moved to the bench.
Frank Vogel will have to figure out a way to bring more out of Anthony defensively, but Vogel will have plenty of that problem with the entire roster. Russell Westbrook is far from being an average defender let alone a good one and the Lakers lost two of their better defenders in Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as a part of the trade for Westbrook.
Despite not filling the defensive hole that currently exists on this team, Anthony fills a hole that may be even bigger. Shooting.