Could Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James join forces in LaLaLand?
The possibility of a Banana Boat reunion between the two longtime friends seems to be growing stronger by the day, as Anthony looks for an amicable resolution to his short stint with the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets announced earlier in the week that their "Anthony Experiment" had reached its expiration date, and the 34-year-old forward would not be a part of the team moving forward.
Despite the fact that the Rockets have yet to release Anthony, rumors are still running rampant that ten-time All-Star could join a contender like the Lakers, Warriors, or Sixers, by Christmas.
Anthony could be waived or released immediately, but he can't be traded until after the Dec. 15th trade restriction deadline, so its conceivable the Rockets will wait until then to see if they can get an asset in return for the third overall pick out of Syracuse.
Anthony has struggled to find a home in recent years. After a rough stretch with the New York Knicks and team President Phil Jackson, Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. Things didn't work out in OKC, so the Thunder traded Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks, who then bought out his contract, clearing the way for him to sign with another Banana Boat buddy in Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets.
Now that he's burned through one Banana Boat buddy already, Anthony just has two left, and if he doesn't join Dwyane Wade in Miami, then LeBron James seems like the obvious choice.
James reportedly was interested in Anthony joining the Cavaliers last season before he was traded to the Thunder, and was asked about his friend joining the Lakers after the team's loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday night:
"I have no idea," James said. "That's not a question to ask me. Right now we don't even have a roster spot open, but that's not a question for myself."
While James is correct, there currently is not a roster spot available; it would be fairly easy to waive an end-of-the-bench player in order to sign Anthony. Michael Beasley or even Ivica Zubac could be an option in that scenario.
However, adding to the Lakers offense does not appear to be an immediate need. It's defense they're lacking. Once they added a defensive stopper in the middle in Tyson Chandler, the Lakers ran off four straight wins. Adding Anthony would seemingly negate that addition.
Shaquille O'Neal believes that Anthony would be a great fit with LeBron and the Lakers because it would take the pressure off of him, and he could find his "spots" on the court.
However, Anthony is primarily an isolation player that requires the ball in his hands and he creates for himself off the dribble. If the last two reigning NBA MVP's Russell Westbrook, James Harden and a future Hall-of-Fame point guard in Paul, couldn't help Anthony find his "spots," its doubtful James will be able to.