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Lakers to meet with Carmelo Anthony on Thursday; Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol are team’s ‘Plan B’

Jul 1, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT

NBA All-Star Bryant of the Lakers and All-Star Anthony of the Knicks laugh during the NBA All-Star basketball game in Houston Reuters

As free agency in the NBA officially opened for business at 12:01 a.m. ET, the Lakers were among the most active teams in reaching out to make initial contact with a wide variety of players.

L.A. has its own internal priority list, of course, but contacted just about any free agent that could potentially be of interest, just in case the players at the top of that list end up choosing to sign somewhere else.

At least one meeting has been secured, and while his joining the Lakers seems like a long shot, the fact remains that L.A. will get a sitdown with one of the two biggest names on the market.

From Dave McMenamin and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

The Los Angeles Lakers will meet with free agent forward Carmelo Anthony Thursday in Los Angeles, sources told ESPN.

Anthony and his representatives were one of the Lakers’ first calls Monday night as free agency officially opened at 9:01 p.m. local time. They also placed a call to the agent for Miami forwardLeBron James and their own free agent center Pau Gasol within the first hour of the negotiating period. …

If James and Anthony represented the Lakers’ Plan A, then either Pau Gasol or Chris Bosh – perhaps paired with one of the two aforementioned gems of the 2003 draft class – were the Plan B.

Anthony also has meetings set up with the Bulls on Tuesday, and with the Rockets and Mavericks on Wednesday.

The Lakers goal (i.e. pipe dream) is to convince Anthony and LeBron James to join forces in Los Angeles — something the Suns would like to see happen in Phoenix, where a roster much more suited to winning immediately is already in place.

From that same report, here are the rest of the players L.A. called in the early moments of free agency:  Luol Deng, Trevor ArizaKyle LowryChandler Parsons, Gordon Hayward, and Isaiah Thomas.

Anthony’s meeting in Los Angeles seems like due diligence more than anything else. The only reason for him to believe that’s a better situation for him than New York is would be because he trusts L.A.’s front office to build a contender more quickly than he does Phil Jackson.

The Lakers are not a team that is going to be patient with a long rebuilding process that revolves around collecting draft picks and hoping that rookies eventually become stars. That market and that franchise are always in win-now mode, and the way they handled the beginning of free agency is right in line with how things are traditionally done in Los Angeles.

Lakers’ coaching search continues

  1. gpatrick15 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    “Anthony’s meeting in Los Angeles seems like due diligence more than anything else. The only reason for him to believe that’s a better situation for him than New York is would be because he trusts L.A.’s front office to build a contender more quickly than he does Phil Jackson.”
    He should have PLENTY of reasons to believe the Lakers can turn around much faster than the Knicks can, even with Jim Buss prominently involved. For one, the Lakers have a proven enough front office led by a GM who has had his hand in a number of championship teams. They have a proven player in Kobe who, if he comes back healthy, could be a key contributor for future runs. They have a young player to potentially build around in a few years who can contribute day one. But most importantly, the Lakers have CAP SPACE, something the Knicks are severely lacking right now. I don’t know how long it’ll take the Lakers to improve, but I see it happening well before the Knicks get their act together.

    • chc4 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      There are probably 10 other teams that represent a better situation for CA than LAL. Bryant is old and broken down. Even if he comes back healthy he is no longer that elite player. And the only reason CA would go back to the Knicks is money. they can offer more than anyone else. That’s a pretty strong reason.

      • gpatrick15 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        Yes, you are right that there are other teams that can offer a better solution. I’m just commenting on the shortsighted notion that he’s only meeting with them for due diligence purposes only.

      • loungefly74 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        LA is in bad shape. that said, they are one of the few franchises that can turn it around in a season or two…when things go according to plan..like getting the gift of Pau Gasol that propelled them to 2 titles. of course, things can also explode making it harder to get back into contenetion. for example, just a couple years ago…the Lakers were on the verge of having CP3 and Phil Jackson coaching the team. But i’m not going to play the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” game…but its an example of my point. maybe Melo comes…idk. i think its less farfetched as reported but we will see.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Due diligence?

      He just WANTS to be wined and dined…

      At least Melo admitted that up front…

      He WANTED the Dwight Howard treatment. He may only sign with ONE team so they know and he knows that it’s just about them telling him how great he is…

  2. saint1997 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    If I may I’m going to make a brief point in defence of the double standard Melo is about to encounter. If Melo stays, people will say it’s because he cares more about money than winning. If Melo leaves it’ll be because he’s selfish and doesn’t care about team loyalty to NY. There’s going to be an argument against Melo either way because for some reason people love to hate the one superstar who is consistently humble and says the right things publicly. I think Melo will stay in NY – if he does can we agree at least part of it is loyalty and not just the money (I acknowledge that is a big factor though – as it should be)

  3. lastdukestreetking - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    How far down the alphabet do LAL plans go?

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      They go down to “F”

      For Fail…

  4. loungefly74 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    at this point…i’m glad they are doing something…but expectations for laker fans should be tempered until things become transparent.

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Not leaving New York, keep it moving with these stories…

    • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      I hope that he doesn’t. I would love to see what Jackson can do with Melo. You would think if anyone could get Melo on a winning track it would be PJ or LBJ.

  6. philyeagles5 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    So plan a is Kobe and melo? Good luck

    • therealhtj - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      At least it’s a better plan than Melo and the scrubs the Knicks will put on the floor next season.

      • brookwell2013 - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Uh, scrubs in NY? Yeah, you’re right but did you see the Laker roster last year? Just as bad or worse.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        CantonPeaBrain: that’s your team we’re mocking! The Knicks are losers and so are you!

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        I’m not so sure that it is…

      • therealhtj - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Yup, everyone on the Knicks outside Melo is a scrub. Even in the sorry East, they’ll likely miss the playoffs.

        At least with Kobe he’d have one guy to take some of the scoring load off his shoulders. Throw in a little more cap room for some depth along with a full mid-level, that’s at a playoff team.

        I don’t think Melo’s worth a 5 year, 120+ mil deal, in the same way Dwight wasn’t. Too many holes in both their games. 4 years, just south of 90mil is in the realm of reason. But when you’re building from the ground up the way the Lakers are, getting Melo to sign would be nothing short of a miracle.

  7. sportsfan18 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    “The Lakers goal (i.e. pipe dream) ”

    The author is a wise man… wise man indeed…

  8. imakcds - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    I think a Melo/Kobe(healthy) tandem would be absolutely dynamic, I think Melo and Kobe both trust each other’s high level of ability, and I hope Melo can see the possibilities.
    and I never thought I would want Melo, but I felt the same about Nick Young, and he was the only bright spot last year.
    and Hollywood beckons, you know Mrs Melo wants to be here.

  9. ravenswhat - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Lebron, Carmelo, the rook from Kentucky. That would be scary.

  10. emdawt - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    In 2011, the Lakers traded for Chris Paul. In 2012, they traded for Dwight Howard. Not sure what they have up their sleeve but I wouldn’t count against them pulling out a coup.

  11. clevelandrox - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    gotta admire LA’s confidence though, lol

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      It’s an act…

      ya know… Hollywood…

      Well, Kobe’s scowl isn’t an act though…

  12. antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Bosh likes playing with LeBron too much to want to play with Kobe. The way Bosh praises how LeBron will always find you if you’re open, even if he’s hot, calling him, “the most unselfish player I’ve ever played with”… that would probably put the Lakers somewhere near last on CB1’s list.

  13. mazblast - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    A team with LBJ, Carmelo and Kobe? Terrific. One ball only, no rebounding, little defense, and no post offense or defense. But what does winning matter if the pretty people come to the games and you’re on ESPN/TNT and talked about all the time?

  14. djjeremiahj - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:00 AM

    Let’s see…. everyone else offers $16M and the hope that the team in place is good enough.
    LA offers:
    1) $20M – $3-4M MORE than any other team.
    2) Kobe, Gasol, Randle and a deep bench….. <- The same or better than any other offer.
    3) The Lakers thrown when Kobe retires.
    4) Hollywood endorsements (aka Movies and TV for Anthony's wife who is an aspiring actress).
    5) LA is the 2nd largest media market (aka Big $$$$ endorsements).
    6) Kyrie Irving or Rondo (or another star) next year.
    7) LA, Hollywood, and the biggest basketball stage….

    I think LA has a lot to offer…..

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      so, you’re saying they will get a bunch of good to great players then…?

      don’t hold your breath…

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