There’s somebody out there who still wants Carmelo Anthony, and he just happens to be the best player in the game.
James has not reached out to Lakers president Magic Johnson or GM Rob Pelinka, though, according to the Athletic.
Anthony was dumped by the Rockets in November after just 10 games. The former Knick could not find a comfortable role in Houston’s offense, despite playing with his buddy and premier playmaker Chris Paul. That doesn’t bode well for him heading to L.A., where he’d be teaming up with the game’s best playmaker in James, who has already taken a young Lakers team and is slowly turning it into a potential contender in a loaded Western Conference.
This isn’t the first time James has pushed for Anthony to join forces with him. When Phil Jackson and the Knicks were looking to rid themselves of Anthony, James asked the Cleveland front office to trade for Anthony, even if it meant dealing Kevin Love. Anthony had also put the Cavaliers on the list of teams to which he was willing to be traded.
That deal obviously never came to pass, and Anthony was instead shipped off to Oklahoma City, where he lasted one underwhelming season, and James also left Cleveland for the bright lights of L.A.
The Lakers are currently 15-9 after beating the Spurs Wednesday night and sit in fifth place in the West, two games behind the Warriors. James is starting to mesh with his young teammates, and in the victory over San Antonio he made three huge plays down the stretch where he kicked to open three-point shooters to help put the game away. Anthony could potentially fit into that spot-up shooter role for the Lakers, although that was partially what the Rockets were hoping to get from the 34-year-old and it didn’t pan out.
Instead, Houston made it clear they favored Gary Clark in that same role, and on Thursday they inked Clark to a three-year deal. That’s a slap in the face to Anthony, but the sting could dissipate if James is serious about wanting him.
When Anthony and the Rockets parted ways, James expressed support for his friend on Twitter, but when asked in November about whether he’d be a fit in a Lakers uniform, James played it coy.
"I have no idea to be honest. That's not a question to ask me," James said at the time. "Right now we have 15 roster spots right? We don't even have a roster spot open right now. But that's not a question for myself."
It appears something has changed in James’ mind since he made that comment, but it’s unclear why he would want to mess with a good thing right now with the Lakers on a four-game win streak and playing some of their best ball of the season. On the flip side, James has proven that he can effectively incorporate established veterans, with former Knick Tyson Chandler quickly finding a niche and JaVale McGee having a career year.
Anthony is still on the Rockets payroll and can’t be dealt until December 15, but it seems James knows what he wants for Christmas.