It appears, from all the reports that are beginning to circulate, that atop of Carmelo Anthony’s “preferred list” of destinations this summer are Houston and Chicago, and New York if something miraculous happens with that roster. However, the Los Angeles Lakers are no where to be found on that list, much less at the top.
Though, don’t entirely cross out the Lakers off such hypothetical lists involving Melo. According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, the Lakers aren’t ‘out of the discussion’ to get Melo just yet.
The LA Lakers are not out of the discussion with Carmelo, they just are not front and center for a couple of reasons. Carmelo by himself doesn’t do much for the Lakers, howvere if Carmelo wants to bring a friend or two along for the ride the Lakers would gladly entertain that.
The Lakers are sitting on three guaranteed contracts next season – Kobe Bryant’s $23.5 million, Steve Nash’s $9.7 million and Robert Sacre’s $915,000. Nick Young has a player option that he is not exercising and the Lakers have a few million likely to be tied up in retaining Kendall Marshall, their lottery pick and a qualifying offer to Kent Bazemore. All in the Lakers are looking at roughly $24 million in usable cap space, which is more than enough to land Carmelo outright from the Knicks.
The problem is a core of Bryant, Carmelo and Nash might win the lottery next year, but it’s not winning a championship and the Lakers know it.
If I had to put a percentage on it, I’d say that there’s around a 5 percent chance that the Lakers have a shot at Melo. If Melo elects to leave New York, it becomes clear that it’s more about winning than about anything else. Frankly, the Lakers just don’t have enough pieces around Kobe Bryant to win now, and Carmelo won’t change that.
So, sure, the Lakers probably still have a “shot” at landing Melo, but much like LA performed this past season, it’s a bad shot.