Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Los Angeles Lakers are considered one of the favorites to land his services. For the Lakers, it would be a convenient move and put an instant band-aid on the reputation of the temporarily tarnished Laker brand. For Anthony, it would allow him to immediately escape the darkness that is the Knicks franchise and provide some instant relief. On the surface it sounds good for both parties, but a myriad of circumstances will inevitably make this all fall apart.
Everyone knows the rocky relationship between Mike D’Antoni and Anthony during their time in New York, and in order for the Lakers to sign Anthony they will most likely have to fire “Mr. Fun and Gun.” From all indications the Lakers are not completely enthralled with Anthony’s all-around game and to have to fire their head coach who still has another year left on his contract seems a bit taxing. Also consider, the team is still paying a portion of Mike Brown‘s contract after firing him in November of 2012. Then they would have to find a new head coach and pay him a handsome salary on top of that. Ultimately, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak will more than likely feel it isn’t worth doing all of that for Anthony who has never been a proven winner.
Anthony will be 30-years-old when the 2014-15 season begins, and signing him to a five-year max deal doesn’t sound like the greatest coup in the world. Throw in the fact that “Melo” has never been a workout warrior, and you can see how his physical gifts might decline faster. Most players peak at age 32, so you might have two more years left on his contract where he is past his prime. Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is running Anthony into the ground this year playing him nearly 39 minutes per game while asking him to carry the load offensively. It sounds like an injury waiting to happen.
The Lakers have several second tier free agent options they can go after such as Greg Monroe, Luol Deng, Eric Bledsoe, Lance Stephenson and Kyle Lowry. You even have some intriguing free agents in the next tier which include Trevor Ariza, Marcin Gortat, Rodney Stuckey and Channing Frye. Not to mention the Lakers’ current players who will be free agents with the potential to re-sign.
Playing with an aging Kobe Bryant and a lack of a strong supporting cast on paper will also sway Anthony from committing to the purple and gold. The situation might not be much better than New York for him with the same amount of pressure. It’s more likely Anthony goes somewhere like the Chicago Bulls to play with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah or stays with New York. For Anthony and the Lakers, the timing just isn’t right