When Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets parted ways early in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers were viewed as a potential destination.
However, due to significant injuries, Anthony Davis trade rumors, and eventually missing the 2019 NBA playoffs, the Lakers ultimately did not sign Anthony.
While there was another opportunity in 2019 NBA free agency, the Lakers went in a different direction by signing Jared Dudley to a one-year, $2.6 million deal instead.
Many thought the Lakers would be the team to sign Anthony in the offseason because of their need for depth and floor spacing. That speculation also arose because of Anthony’s close friendship with superstar LeBron James.
Anthony had the blessing of James, league sources told Yahoo Sports, but the front office chose to go in a different direction.
When the Lakers traded their entire young core outside of Kyle Kuzma for Davis, they did have numerous roster spots to fill. While Anthony made some sense, general manager Rob Pelinka had a different vision and there are no complaints.
At 16-2 through the first 18 games of the 2019-20 season, the Lakers have a strong supporting cast around James and Davis that completely understand their roles. Although the 35-year-old was willing to accept a bench role, he is the Blazers starting power forward right now and averaging 16.6 points in 29.2 minutes.
While James wanted to play with one of his best friends, it has worked out well for Anthony and the Lakers. As Los Angeles is a legitimate championship contender, Anthony has an opportunity to end his career on his terms this time around.