However, after the Houston Rockets got off to a dismal start to the 2018-19 NBA season, Anthony was left out of the rotation after playing only ten games. Now, he has been waiting in the wings in hopes of a trade to materialize.
The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly been a possible destination for the 34-year-old given his ties to LeBron James. The two friends have openly expressed a desire to play together and the current situation offers them the best opportunity to make that happen.
When asked about possibly trading for or signing Anthony, James again affirmed his position about wanting to play with him, according to Stefan Bondy of Daily News:
“We’ll see. I don’t run the team,” said James, who on Monday night was spotted by TMZ leaving a restaurant with Anthony. “There are obviously things that need to be worked out on both sides. But I’ve always wanted to play with Melo, and if the opportunity presents itself, it’ll be great. So we’ll see what happens.”
James has built a reputation throughout his career as a de facto general manager for his teams, forcing or influencing trades for players he wants to play with. Anthony is just the latest example of someone he could sway a front office into signing because of the power he holds.
However, up to this point, it seems Los Angeles has resisted the idea of trading for Anthony. The Lakers have made it clear they are not looking to trade their young core or take on long-term salary, so it is difficult to imagine a deal taking place.
It is fair to wonder whether or not James will force the issue as it gets closer to the trade deadline, especially with the Lakers in a bit of a funk. It will be interesting to see if Anthony does in fact end up wearing purple and gold before the season is over.