The 2013-14 NBA season has yet to officially tip-off, yet still the big summer of 2014 is being talked about.

One of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ expected big free agent targets next off-season is Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. According to a source of the NY Daily News, Melo may be open to joining the purple and gold if his good friend Kobe Bryant reaches out to him and promises an NBA championship:

[pullquote]A person familiar with Anthony’s thinking says that Kobe Bryant could be the X-factor in the Knicks’ negotiations with Carmelo. The Lakers will have cap space next summer and if Bryant promises Anthony that together they can make a run at a championship in Los Angeles, Dolan may be doomed.

Anthony owns a home in Southern California and his wife, La La, has spent a lot of time in Hollywood the last two years making movies.

When given the chance on Monday to clarify his future plans, Anthony took a pass, saying he’ll deal with his free agency “when the time comes.” That’s hardly a ringing endorsement.[/pullquote]

At the moment, this is just a lot of if, buts and maybes, however it’s not that far-fetched to think that the Black Mamba could meet with Melo during the 2014 off-season and convince his Team USA teammate that the pair could compete for an NBA championship in Los Angeles.

From the outside looking in, Carmelo leaving the Knicks seems more likely than LeBron James leaving Miami, but Melo is good friends with LeBron too – what if Anthony was on board with the Lakeshow and teamed up with Bryant to help recruit The King to the West Coast?

As you can already tell, next summer is going to be very interesting.

H/T Hoops Rumors

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Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in England. You can follow him on Twitter: @RossPickering

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