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Report: Lakers showing interest in Carmelo Anthony

LeBron and Melo could end up playing on the same team for the first time in the NBA.

Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers plays defense against LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers during Round One, Game Five of the NBA Playoffs on August 29, 2020 at the AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are interested in signing soon-to-be free agent forward Carmelo Anthony, Jordan Schultz reported Saturday afternoon. Anthony is set to become an unrestricted free agent on August 2nd, when teams are allowed to start negotiations with players. Melo would be able to officially sign a contract with the Lakers on August 6th. This would be the first time LeBron James and Anthony play on the same team in the NBA after being drafted two picks apart back in 2003.

Anthony isn’t on the same level of LeBron anymore, but has plenty left in the tank. Melo averaged 13.4 points per game in 69 games for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2020-21. Anthony came off the bench and averaged a career-low 24.5 minutes per game. Despite less playing time, Melo was more efficient scoring the ball, averaging 26.7 points per 100 possessions, his best mark since 2016-17 when he was an All-Star with the New York Knicks.

Now to the Lakers. Los Angeles just traded for Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. The Lakers lack depth but should be able to attract veteran players given their championship appeal. Anthony likely wouldn’t start but would provide a solid scorer off the bench, someone who can fill it up quickly while Westbrook, LeBron and/or Anthony Davis is resting.

With Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope expected to be traded and Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, Andre Drummond, Alex Caruso and Markieff Morris all free agents next week, the Lakers’ roster is going to be pretty thin. It will be important for LA to lure veteran free agents to a potential championship team on perhaps a lower salary. The prospect of playing with LeBron, AD, Russ and now potentially Melo will be attractive to pretty much anyone on the market.