In the last few days, things have picked up on the front for former All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony with the Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly deciding to part ways with him in order to save $100 million in salary cap and luxury tax for next season.
This will put him on the market where there is expected to be a few teams interested in his services such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Miami Heat. According to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports, Anthony has the Lakers as one of his preferred landing spots that is largely due to his desire to play with LeBron James.
Source close to Carmelo Anthony says the #Lakers are one of Melo’s preferred destinations, and that he's high on chance to finally play with #LeBron. Keep in mind too, that Carmelo owns a house in LA.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 7, 2018
The Lakers have seemingly become a much more attractive destination around the league after James made the decision to agree to a four-year, $154 million shortly after the start of free agency. It is well known the strong relationship that he and Anthony have developed over the years in the league as the two have become close friends off the court. There had previously been chatter over the years that they wanted to play together at some point in their careers with the Lakers being a prime opportunity for that finally come to fruition.
In this scenario, it could likely require Anthony to come off the bench for the first time in his career as the Lakers will lean toward continuing to have third-year forward Brandon Ingram in the starting lineup while James could assume the starting power forward spot. This is something that the 34-year-old has been reluctant to accept over the last couple of years as his performance on the court has declined.
Anthony is coming off his lone season with the Thunder where he averaged 16.2 points on a career-low 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.7 percent from 3-point range along with 5.8 rebounds in 32.1 minutes per contest while starting in all 78 games played. The change of scenery along with an adjusted role in Los Angeles could help him get on track to being a more effective scorer.