Could the Lakers pass on the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes?

Harry How

The Lakers could offer Anthony a max contract this offseason, but they reportedly aren't enamored with the potential fit.

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The Los Angeles Lakers will be armed with loads of cap space heading into free agency, but they aren't interested in pursuing New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

Anthony is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks to test free agency, and the big-market Lakers could throw a maximum contract his way, in theory. But Los Angeles reportedly doesn't like the idea of pairing Anthony with Kobe Bryant, and Lakers president Jeanie Buss isn't keen on stealing Anthony away from Phil Jackson, the new Knicks president and Buss' fiancé.

Why this makes sense

Even with Kobe Bryant still on the roster, the Lakers have some serious rebuilding to do, so it would make some sense to not sink a good portion of the cap over the next few years into two players. That's especially wise when those players aren't spring chickens, with Bryant nearing the end of his career and Anthony turning 30 this week.

Anthony leaving New York?

As for the fit, Anthony and Bryant have had success together playing for Team USA, but one would have to question how the relationship would work at this stage of their careers. This wouldn't be like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade teaming up. Bryant and Anthony are two ball-stopping isolation scorers, and while both have loads of talent, getting them to mesh could be tricky.

Why this doesn't make sense

So about that talent thing. The Lakers need a major influx of it, and while Anthony will be 30 and may not be the best fit next to Bryant, he would bring elite scoring potential to Los Angeles. It's also widely known that Bryant doesn't want to deal with a rebuilding project, and signing Anthony would help the team win now.

If the Lakers felt like signing Anthony was the right move for the future, it would be pretty silly not to chase him due to the relationship between Buss and Jackson. Buss and Jackson are professionals who should be able to overcome any hard feelings when it comes to business.

Likelihood

It's hard to believe that the Lakers would completely bow out of the Anthony chase, but it doesn't appear that they're going to be much of a player. So as it stands, Anthony wearing purple and gold next year is a long shot.

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