UPDATE (4:30 PM): Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski has confirmed Bill Simmons’ tweet about the Los Angeles Lakers moving into serious contention for Carmelo Anthony:
Lakers have moved into serious contention on Carmelo Anthony, multiple sources tell Yahoo. "In the game now," one source close to Melo says.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 5, 2014
Heading into free agency, the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls were considered the front runners for Carmelo Anthony should he decide to leave the New York Knicks. However, after meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, it appears that the franchise has a chance to sign him according to Grantland’s Bill Simmons:
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 5, 2014
While there weren’t too many details following the meeting, the Lakers did offer the max contract of four years, $97 million to the All-Star forward. Although Kobe Bryant was not able to make the pitch meeting due to a scheduling change, the five-time champion has been in constant communication as he hopes to persuade his friend to join forces with him in Los Angeles.
If the Lakers are able to sign Anthony, there is belief that Pau Gasol will re-sign with the team to form a strong trio of their own. While Gasol has received interest from numerous championship contenders, there is a possibility he does remain due to his relationship with Kobe and a new head coach who will likely play to his strengths in the post.
Lakers Mitch Kupchak On Coach Search And Free Agency