At this point in the season, the prospect of the Los Angeles Lakers being a threat in the Western Conference isn’t looking very good. The team continues to struggle with or without Kobe Bryant and appear to be headed toward missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
With the team potentially starting to look toward the off-season and the free agent market, the speculation will start to swirl about which superstar could be headed to Los Angeles. The most likely candidate appears to be Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, but it might not be in the cards with the team possibly unwilling to offer a max-level deal to Anthony according to Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld.com:
For weeks its been Anthony and the LA Lakers talked about as a likely pairing, however insiders doubted that the Lakers would make Anthony a max-level contract offer, but suggested if the Knicks would do a trade with the Clippers there might be a better fit, especially if competing for a championship right away is Anthony’s real goal.
If the Lakers are unwilling to offer Anthony a max deal, it’s extremely unlikely he’ll be headed to Los Angeles in the off-season. The Knicks are arguably one of the worst teams in the league right now and in a much worse situation in comparison to the struggles the Lakers are currently dealing with, but Anthony will want to cash in during free agency.
The Los Angeles Clippers may become a potential destination for Anthony in a trade before the NBA trade deadline via Kyler:
While free agency is a long way away and there is lots of basketball left to be played, the team that most fans and media peg as Anthony’s likely destination is the LA Lakers, however insiders around the Knicks and Carmelo peg the LA Clippers as more likely to land Anthony if he leaves the Knicks. Openly suggesting the Knicks and Clippers would try and consummate a trade at the trade deadline to insure LA has the rights to Anthony.
With the Clippers potentially making a move for Anthony, the options in free agency will be bleak to say the least for the Lakers. LeBron James of the Miami Heat remains an option, but an unrealistic one with the writing basically on the wall in terms of the superstar re-signing with Miami.
Although nothing is set in stone, the future remains uncertain for the storied franchise moving forward. Anything can happen from now until July, but at this point in time it doesn’t look good for the Lakers.
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