Report: NBA executives think Lakers are most likely destination for Carmelo Anthony

Jack BaerYahoo Sports Contributor

The Los Angeles Lakers have LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and the rest of a roster to fill out once the team is done throwing overboard everything that isn’t nailed down in the name of cap space.

One of those spots could be reserved for a big-name free agent. Some more could be filled out by old teammates of James’ like Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith. And one last one could be an old friend of James.

Carmelo Anthony a possibility for the Lakers?

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Carmelo Anthony just finished up a season in which he lasted less than a month with the Houston Rockets before the team decided to part ways, then was traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he was soon waived. A free agent in February, he never found another team.

The 35-year-old averaged 13.4 points per game on 40.5 percent shooting in just 10 games last season. He had some interest from the Lakers when he was a free agent later in the season, but that went away when the team was eliminated from the playoffs. Now in the offseason, the Lakers reportedly still might be interested.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, the consensus among NBA executives is that Anthony will be suiting up alongside James next season:

Let's get this out of the way at the top: things can always change, but most executives monitoring Anthony's free agency see the Lakers as the most likely destination for the 10-time All Star.

Assuming the Lakers aren’t looking for anything in Anthony beyond a deep bench player that can occasionally score in isolation and make open shots, that might be a worthwhile fit.

Anthony is well-known as one of James’ best friends in the league, and playing for the NBA’s newest contender alongside a friend in Los Angeles could be an attractive idea for the veteran.

Will the Lakers end up with half of the banana boat crew? (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
Will the Lakers end up with half of the banana boat crew? (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Anthony ‘would have interest’ in Knicks return

Begley also reported that Anthony is interested in signing with the New York Knicks and finishing his career there, as the forward has indicated in the past. However, the feeling may not be mutual at this point:

There may have been interest from New York in a reunion with Anthony if they had a roster with multiple stars ready to win immediately. But with Durant injured and the odds against the Knicks building that kind of team this summer, bringing Anthony back is not currently part of the team's thinking.

Again, that may be irrelevant because of the Lakers' interest. But Anthony would have interest in signing with the Knicks and finishing his career in New York, despite how his Knicks tenure ended.

We’ll see if any other teams come out of the woodwork for Anthony on presumably a veteran’s minimum contract.

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