Carmelo Anthony Would Make Los Angeles Lakers Competitive, Not Contenders

Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell – USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony is set to become a free-agent this offseason and may be looking to move to a better situation. The Los Angeles Lakers have enough money to lure another superstar, and Kobe Bryant has mentioned his interest in playing with Anthony. Anthony brings a talented offensive skill set to the table but has yet to show that he can successfully lead a team deep into the playoffs. He has only been to the Conference Finals one time, and as he ages, it is unclear if he will ever get back.

The Lakers would have to commit big money to bring Anthony to Los Angeles and would have to rely on a Bryant-Anthony tandem with limited resources to bring in more talent for the next couple of years. While the team would be enjoyable to watch, it is unlikely that they would be contenders in a talented Western Conference.

Anthony tends to dominate the ball for long periods on the offensive side, often disrupting the flow of the offense. Sometimes this can be successful, since he is such a good isolation player. But Bryant also utilizes a similar style, and it would be difficult for the team to find a rhythm if two players are playing one-on-one the entire game. This has been a problem for previous teams that Anthony has played with, as the offense can shut down when matched against a good defensive team.

There is no doubt that Anthony is extremely talented, and even though he is nearing age 30, his game should age graciously as he depends a lot on skill. But he hasn’t shown the ability to lead a team when it matters most, and putting him next to a similar player like Bryant might not be best for either side.

If the Lakers are looking to win more games and compete for a playoff spot then Anthony would be a good choice. But they would sacrifice financial flexibility for the future and essentially become a borderline playoff team with not enough talent to contend for a championship. They would be more entertaining and have a marketable star, but in Los Angeles, winning it all is the only measure of success.