Carmelo Anthony free agency rumors: Lakers pause contract talks with Melo after falling out of playoff picture
Many expected veteran forward Carmelo Anthony to ultimately end up on the Los Angeles Lakers following his departure from the Houston Rockets earlier this season, but Anthony may have to look elsewhere in order to continue his NBA career.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony and the Lakers are pausing talks on a possible contract agreement as the Lakers continue to fall out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, which they will try to rectify on Monday night when they face the Clippers (10:30 p.m. — Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass add-on). The logic being that it would make more sense for a lottery-bound team to use playing time on developing prospects, as opposed to inking Anthony.
“The Los Angeles Lakers and free agent Carmelo Anthony are pausing talks on a possible contract agreement unless the franchise makes a turn back toward pursuit of Western Conference playoffs contention, league sources told ESPN.
The Lakers had been leaning toward signing Anthony for the rest of the season — until losses in four of the past five games left the organization and Anthony’s camp wondering if it made sense to bring the veteran into an unsettled environment with suddenly so little chance of making the playoffs, league sources said.
The Lakers had waited on Anthony through the March 1 deadline for players to be waived and be eligible for playoff rosters to see who else would become available and perhaps be willing to sign with them, league sources said.”
Anthony last played in an NBA game as a member of the Rockets on November 8; a 98-80 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In that contest, Anthony struggled mightily and scored just two points on 1-of-11 shooting against his former team.
The Rockets originally inked Anthony to a $2.4 million contract after he was dealt to, and then waived by the Atlanta Hawks, as part of a three-team trade this past offseason. That came after Anthony had a rocky single season as a member of the Thunder, who acquired him from the New York Knicks the previous summer. Over the course of his career, Anthony has averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
Late last year, Lakers All-Star forward LeBron James publicly stated that he would appreciate the chance to play with Anthony in Los Angeles if the opportunity presented itself.
“We’ll see. I don’t run the team,” James said when asked about the possibility of the Lakers adding Anthony. “There are obviously things that need to be worked out on both sides. But I’ve always wanted to play with Melo, and if the opportunity presents itself, it’ll be great. So we’ll see what happens.”
While it may have made sense earlier in the season, at this point in time it is quite possible that the addition of Anthony would cause more problems for the Lakers than it would fix.