Carmelo Anthony has decided to stay with his current team, forcing the Los Angeles Lakers to resort to Plan B. There is no doubt that Anthony is one of the premier scorers in the league and he would have made the Lakers a playoff contender as well as a more entertaining team. He has a good relationship with Kobe Bryant, who has put his faith in management to put a winning team next to him. However, even though the team struck out with Anthony, it may work out for the better, especially in the long run.
The organization would have had to commit a lot of money if Anthony were to sign, leaving them severely handicapped for future seasons. Anthony, combined with Bryant, would have taken up the majority of the salary cap for the next two years, leaving the team with little room to sign impact players. While having two superstars may work for some teams, Anthony has yet to show that he can lead a team and Bryant is currently recovering from several serious injuries.
Anthony is an extremely efficient scorer, but he has struggled to make his team better in recent years. He often disrupts the flow of an offense and can be a liability on the defensive end. Putting him next to the aging veterans already on the team would have been a recipe for disaster on the defensive side of the court.
It is unknown how Bryant will fare with the upcoming season, as he clearly wasn’t the same player last year. He is only getting older, and the team needs to add athleticism next to him. He may have liked playing with Anthony in international basketball, but the two might struggle playing next to one another in LA.
While Anthony could have brought excitement to the organization, it might be a positive that they were unable to sign him. It is unclear if he would have truly fit next to Bryant and that is a big risk to take. He is going to be paid as one of the highest players in the league and it is hard to justify a contract that large for a player who has yet to see much postseason success. The Lakers may be better off holding out for another star player or taking steps to add assets for the rebuilding process that lies ahead.