With the free agency period now underway, the Los Angeles Lakers wasted no time reaching out to potential targets that included Carmelo Anthony, who they were able to set up a meeting with on Thursday, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
The Lakers registered interest in Carmelo Anthony tonight and will be meeting with him on Thursday, source tells ESPN
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2014
Los Angeles has Anthony on their immediate short list of players that they would like to speak with first. The seven-time All-Star is already set to meet first with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, and will speak with the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Other teams who are said to have interest in Anthony are the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Phoenix Suns.
This move should not come as much of a surprise given that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak had stated this past Thursday after the completion of the draft that the team was prepared to “go all out in free agency.”
“We are prepared if any of those (elite-level) players do want to make a move,” Kupchak said. “If we get word and we are allowed to get word (with them). We will go all out. There is only s0 much you can do at least financially are such that for a max player you’re talking taking $35 million less to make the move. There are some players willing to do that and some players aren’t. We are prepared with enough space to be aggressive.”
Kobe Bryant last week had also reached out to discuss possibly playing together with the Lakers. The two players have a strong relationship as both have much respect for each other’s talent and dedication to the game.
The Lakers have also initiated contacted a slew of other free agents that include LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Trevor Ariza, Kyle Lowry, Chandler Parsons, Pau Gasol, Kent Bazemore, Isaiah Thomas, Jordan Hill, Luol Deng, Nick Young and Jodie Meeks.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images