The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling right now. They’ve lost two straight games that have ended in blowouts and are decimated by injuries. However, the 2014 off-season is just six months away and the Lakers are set to have enough cap space to land a max level free agent when July rolls around.
For this reason, many Lakers fans and media pundits have been expecting the purple and gold to offer Carmelo Anthony a max contract next summer.
However, according to Steve Kyler from HoopsWorld, insiders apparently doubt that the Lakers would offer Melo max money, likely meaning that they’re not all that interested in the former Olympian:
[pullquote]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.[/pullquote]
The Lakers could offer Melo a four-year deal worth over $95 million if he opts out of his contract this coming summer – that’s quite a commitment to a player who will already be 30-years-old by the time free agency rolls around.
From a business perspective, I would understand it if the Lakers inked Melo to a max deal – after all, he’s going to bring people to Staples Center – though it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Lakers possibly look to add a smaller piece this coming summer and save the majority of their cap room for the 2015 off-season when Kevin Love can become a free agent.
As for the Los Angeles Clippers, Kyler reports that the Lakers’ crosstown rivals could look to pull off a trade for Melo, with people around both Anthony and the Knicks hinting at the possibility of a deal.