2014 Free Agency, Latest News / Jul 6, 2014 / 1:30 pm

Report: Lakers In “Serious Contention” For Carmelo

Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony

Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony (Bob Donnan, USATODAY Sports)

It’s not just the New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls for Carmelo Anthony after all. According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowksi, the Los Angeles Lakers are in “serious contention” to land the high-scoring superstar.

It was previously believed that New York and Chicago were the only two realistic destinations for Anthony, with the hometown Knicks holding a sizable advantage going into the weekend. Wojnarowski’s report doesn’t cast doubt on Carmelo signing with either team, but puts Los Angeles firmly in the running for his services.

The Los Angeles Lakers have ascended into serious contention to sign New York free agent Carmelo Anthony, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Lakers moved into strong consideration with the front-running New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls over this weekend, sources told Yahoo Sports.

No one with direct knowledge of the process would declare the Lakers had overtaken New York and Chicago in Anthony’s mind, but one source close to Anthony said of the Lakers, “They’re in the game now.”…

One thing that still bothers Anthony is [Phil] Jackson had wanted him to take less than a max contract, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Los Angeles went above and beyond in its recruitment of Anthony. Franchise legend James Worthy was involved in the the team’s pitch, which centered on an original short film of Carmelo’s life helmed by famed movie producer Joel Silver and narrated by actor Tobey Maguire. Kobe Bryant was involved in the proceedings as well, even if time constrictions barred him from being present at the Lakers’ meeting with Anthony.

Of crucial note in Wojnarowski’s report is that despite a fruitful discussion with Jackson and the Knicks brass last week, Anthony is still uncomfortable by the Zen Master’s request that he accept a contract worth less than the maximum. Jackson has made no secret of his desire to retain Carmelo on a reduced price, playing the indirect mind games with Anthony through the media for which he’s become so known during his time in the league. Despite the long-held desire for Carmelo to take less money than he could command, New York indeed presented him a contract offer worth the maximum during their meeting. But it appears Carmelo is irked by Jackson’s unrelenting preference that he play for less money than he’s worth.

None of this is to say that the Knicks are no longer frontrunners in the chase for Anthony. New York can offer him more money than both the Bulls and Lakers, and Carmelo has supposedly grown more comfortable with Jackson’s big-picture plan to revamp the team by signing marquee players when it has copious financial flexibility over the next two summers.

It was previously reported that Anthony would make a decision on his future by the holiday weekend’s end, but Los Angeles’ meteoric rise to legitimate contender to sign him could complicate that timeline. Either way, we’ll find out soon enough.

Where do you want Carmelo to sign?

Follow Jack on Twitter at @ArmstrongWinter.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Bob Fusky

    I respect Woj, but all he said was that the Lakers were in “serious contention” for Melo. And that is just because they made a 4-year max offer. Of course he’s going to “consider” that. When its all done, if he’s just looking for money, he takes the extra year and the extra $30M from the Knicks. The Straighthoops blog lays it out nicely: http://straighthoops.com/courting_carmelo.html

  • 3dsoul27

    Woj usually waits until he has better info than most other outlets, his info is usually the most reliable. Whatgets me is this game where Melo is reportedly still unhappy that phil wants him to take a little less than the max. If thats true, then it means Anthony has no concern at all about financial flexibility in signing marquee FA’s and that his only concern is maximum money. But then, why consider the lakers if its all about money? LA would be the same situation as NY. Crappy this year, waiting until 2015 and still in a very tough Western conference. NY WILL RUN THE famed triangle where as in LA, WHO is even gonna be the coach? NY is still the best option.

  • 2cents

    Oh please oh please let Melo become the Lakers headache. I want NYC to just clean house and build from the ground up. Hopefully next out the door after that is Knicks ownership.

  • SweetdickWilly

    Los Angeles would be the worst spot for him. Kobe’s status is still unknown, Nash and Pau may leave, and there’s the biggest question of all: Will Kobe and Melo mesh? We all know how bad the Dwight thing went since the Laker’s culture revolves around Kobe.

  • Jedi Mamba

    The Lakers not only pitched to Carmelo, but to his family (especially LaLa, his wife) LA would not be a drastic move for the Anthony’s. Hollywood, film makers were in the meeting with the Lakers and Carmelo, probably telling him about the opportunities outside of basketball for him and his family here in LA. The Lakers have rolled out the red carpet for Carmelo. I’m pretty sure they’re going to allow him to have influence on who will be the Lakers coach as well. Who does NY have? Derek Fisher is a rookie coach and the Triangle isn’t an offense you can just run overnight. It takes time to perfect it. Kobe and his wife are also really, really good friends with Carmelo and LaLa. A lot of people are underestimating the Lakers chances at landing Melo.