Could the Lakers pursue Carmelo Anthony in free agency?

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lakers
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers are fresh off of a first-round exit in the NBA Playoffs and their loss showed glaring holes in their depth around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Rob Pelinka will need to be aggressive this offseason to add more talent on a budget. One player that could make sense as a potential target in free agency would be Portland Trail Blazers impending free agent Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony has been linked to the Lakers over the past few years. He has been viewed as an ideal fit as a bench piece for Los Angeles. His close friendship with James has spurred those rumors.

During the 2020-21 NBA season with the Trail Blazers, Anthony ended up averaging 13.4 points per game to go along with 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He shot 42.1 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 40.9 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers show why the Lakers could have interest in signing Anthony.

It was clear at times during the 2020-21 season that the Lakers needed more consistency and shooting. Even though they won the NBA Finals just last year, they could have used more second unit talent. Anthony may not be the superstar that he once was, but there is no question that he can be a valuable role player.

One NBA scout spoke to NBA Analysis Network about a potential fit between Anthony and the Lakers.

“I think Carmelo (Anthony) would be a very good fit with L.A. He has become more of a spot-up shooter, which would fit nicely playing alongside AD and LeBron. Anthony also has the ability to post-up and score one-on-one. If the Lakers want to make an impact signing for the vet minimum, Anthony would be well worth the risk, which there is very little of with this move.”

At this point in his career, Carmelo Anthony is just searching for an opportunity to compete for a championship. He has enjoyed his time in Portland and could end up simply re-signing with the Blazers. However, if he wants to chase a ring and still play a sizable role off the bench, the Lakers could offer him an ideal scenario.

James would love to have his friend playing alongside him. Anthony also has shown that he has no problem sacrificing some of his own touches for the good of the team over the last two years. The Lakers would absolutely get better by adding Anthony to their roster.

Plenty of contenders could have interest in signing Anthony this offseason in free agency. He is simply the kind of bench scorer that can take a second unit to the next level.

Expect to see quite a few teams show interest in signing Anthony in free agency. The Lakers may not end up being his final landing spot, but they could and should be a fit for him.