Heading into free agency, most believed LeBron James would re-sign with the Miami Heat while Carmelo Anthony would sign with the Houston Rockets or Chicago Bulls. Since the Los Angeles Lakers have met with both stars this past week, things have possibly changed according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Chris Broussard:
Los Angeles met with LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul on Friday, and the four-time MVP is giving similar consideration to what the Lakers have to offer, according to sources.
While the Lakers were not expected to sign either player, having Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Julius Randle, and no long-term salary has been a strong selling point:
The Lakers pitch — of teaming Anthony with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, prized rookie Julius Randle on a team with no long-term salary obligations — made what one source described as a “strong impression” on Anthony and has made his decision over the holiday weekend “tough” according to another source close to the situation.
While Pau Gasol is a free agent and has received a lot of attention so far from championship contenders, there is belief he will quickly re-sign with the Lakers if they are able to land Anthony or James this summer.
Although the Lakers have offered both players the maximum of four years, $97 million in their meetings, there is a scenario where both stars could sign for around $16 million per season. In addition, the Lakers could also use the stretch provision on Steve Nash to clear up further cap space.
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