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Lakers Eyeing LeBron, Carmelo For 2014

The Lakers may not have landed their top target in 2013 free agency, but they're already planning to aim high again in 2014. According to Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of, the Lakers are eyeing LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, who both have the opportunity to opt out of their respective contracts next summer.

The fact that the Lakers will be targeting the top free agents on the market doesn't come as any surprise, considering the team only has two players (Steve Nash and Robert Sacre) on its books beyond this season. The Lakers have frequently been cited as a potential suitor for LeBron, along with the Heat and Cavaliers, while plenty of outlets have speculated recently that L.A. will pursue Carmelo.

Whether the Lakers actually have a good chance to sign either player is another issue altogether. Shelburne's and Windhorst's sources have divided opinions on how likely either superstar is to make the jump to Los Angeles, with one source calling it "realistic" while another says it's "far-fetched at this point." According to's sources, LeBron isn't even considering his options for next summer yet, so it's impossible to handicap the odds right now.

"It's all wishful thinking at this point," said the league source. "Teams are doing more wishing than LeBron is wanting right now."

In order to have room for two maximum-salary players, the Lakers would need Kobe Bryant to take a significant pay cut, an idea Kobe didn't seem overly enthusiastic about when he was asked recently. However, if the possibility of landing an elite player or two becomes more realistic, I'd expect Kobe to reconsider that stance when the time comes.

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37 thoughts on “Lakers Eyeing LeBron, Carmelo For 2014

  1. Michael Nguyen

    unless they get a big man to come there along with Lebron and Melo ain’t nobody going there.

    • dodgerskingsfan

      it’s the lakers. people will come.

      • Michael Nguyen

        yea? you so sure. Dwight Howard left. Sooo what do you have to say about that.

        • howard a baby and couldnt handle the pressure that LA and kobe gave him and he didnt want to be kobe side kick for much longer. so it not the lakers fault howard left.

          • Michael Nguyen

            I don’t see why Lebron or Melo would leave new york or south beach to play with a aging kobe and no center and a point guard who cant play defense.

          • you never know, look at this year, yea they arent super stars, but young and kaman sign for much less than i bet they would with other teams

          • alphakira

            Even the Bobcats and Pelicans have a better nucleus than that…

          • Jonathan Diaz

            know it hurts you as a laker fan to hear the truth but that team isnt appealing, it took miami 2 years to figure each other out an only when wade was willing to take a lesser role something kobe wont do an melo lol remeber he made sure the knicks didnt match lin because of a nice two week run that took the spotlight off him. lebron isnt taking less money a second time plus cleveland is a better team… tank this year an the nba will give you wiggins

          • chris hines

            “tank this year an the nba will give you wiggins”

            You do realize that if the NBA fixed the draft and anyone ever proved it, or told on them, everyone involved would be prosecuted and thrown in jail. They simply don’t do it, to suggest they do is simply conspiracy nuttery for conspiracy sake.

          • Jonathan Diaz

            hornets give up paul an get the first pick, cavs lose james an get the first pick… while it isnt “fixed” the nba benefits from having these quick turn arounds… the lakers are a lottery team if they can get to bottom eight then they have a shot at wiggins an this is a more realistic outcome then a supper team where guys would leave places they like to come join a blank slate in la

          • chris hines

            I don’t think either is all that likely to happen.

          • David Elias

            Well, the core players on the Heat are Wade who is aging rapidly and Bosh, who suddenly cant play up to his size. New York has Amare, who is not the player he used to be and no one else. LA would be an option because they have almost no one. They could allow the stars to pick the team, similar to what the Heat did when they got LeBron. Can you imagine LeBron, Cousins, and Kobe? That would be a fun team.

          • Jonathan Diaz

            but there’s the thing where you have to convince kobe to take less money something he said he wont do an lebron said he wouldnt and isnt thinking about free agency… plus why leave a tax free miami its a nice dream but just that… tank for wiggins

          • chris hines

            They’re a bad team but they aren’t bad enough to get Wiggins.

          • Jonathan Diaz

            they arent good, an unless kobe loads up on deer antler spray an is ready for game one this is a lottery top ten team an we have seen in the last few year teams jump from the 8th slot to win the lottery, other things is this draft is loaded. wiggins profiles as lebron 2.0 but from what the experts say you are talking a draft thats runs deep not the nonsense of this year when you had trades every other pick to move back an out. a franchise guy can be had in the first 4 picks

          • chris hines

            I think there is the smallest of chances they can make the 8th seed, though I do look at this as a team that misses the playoffs 8 or 9 times out of ten, especially in the West.

            However there is going to be a host of bad teams in the NBA this year, with several actively trying to get worse as the season goes on. The Lakers could easily end up like Minnesota last year a 31-51 team picking 9 or 10. It’s a deep draft but not deep enough to get anything to build around at 9 or 10.

            If the Lakers traded Nash and Gasol they could give themselves a realistic chance at the number one pick, they could all but assure themselves of a top 5 pick, but they won’t do it. Whether Kobe is playing game 1, 10, or 25, they won’t strip it bare and tank for a draft pick. I honestly think that would be the best move, assuming you could move one or both players while maintaining 2015 cap space, but I don’t see it happening.

          • David Elias

            I don’t think tax plays into it as much as you think. LeBron said he isn’t thinking about free agency yet, but he might at the end of the season and you would have to think that the Lakers would be a legit possibility based on the idea of pairing with another star and their market. The Cavs remain a possibility. Both NY teams and the Bulls are big market teams that are probably out due to cap situations. Maybe the Celtics take a run at him. He will have options and some better than Miami.

          • chris hines

            The problem is that other star would have to be a 36 year old Kobe since I don’t see Melo, Kobe, and LeBron all playing for one team. I love Kobe and LeBron is the best player in the game, but I don’t see just those two and a 40 year old Nash as a favorite to win anything. You could theorize on Bosh joining him but at that point why leave Miami? Even with LeBron and some good role players like Deng or Lowry I don’t see them building a Championship caliber team until 2015, then you have to re-learn how to play together with another superstar laced team. Only this time Kobe isn’t taking a Dwayne Wade like backseat and he’ll be 37 and probably in his last season, so there is less reason to go to the Lakers.

            He’d be looking at one or two transitional seasons where they won’t be favored, a re-tooling once Kobe leaves in 2016/17, and if he does win a ring at some point with Kobe he actually helps get yet another ring in front of him in his race to be the best all time. It seems way easier to stay in Miami or go back to Cleveland.

            Also LeBron doesn’t need a big market, players want to play with him regardless and no matter where he plays he’ll be the biggest star, with the most endorsements in the NBA.

          • chris hines

            Cousins is restricted, they’d have to offer a max contract and then have the Kings pass on matching. He doesn’t deserve a max contract right now and the Kings would likely match any offer since they have nothing without him.

          • chris hines

            The only way they don’t match is if you offer a max contract and they hate Cousins so much they’d rather let him walk in state to the Lakers for nothing rather than bring him back for a half to full year. I just don’t see it, they have every incentive to match a contract and shop him over the course of the season and into the following offseason. He’s a young and talented big, someone will give up talent and draft picks for him.

          • Yawn. Platitudes. Perhaps Howard didn’t want to be on a team full of hurt old players that weren’t going to compete for anything.

            Yeah, I think that’s got more to do with it.

          • chris hines

            You must have watched ESPN….

            I’m a Laker fan and even I would have left LA for Houston, they’re a better team. LA may become the better team but it won’t happen with LeBron and Melo so Houston will likely stay better until at least 2015/16.

    • chris hines

      What does a big have to do with anything? The Heat are winning Championships with Bosh and The Birdman at Center, the days of big men on every team are dead. It would help but it’s on ones mandatory list since they just don’t exist in those numbers. Besides they could sign Gasol back cheap and use him at Center along with someone like Kaman.

  2. FlaveFlava

    No one is saying the Lakers screwed up by letting Howard go, they didn’t have much say in that. The Lakers issue is their talent is so old, unlike when Bosh/Lebron paired up with Dwyane Wade, or even Melo pairing up with a pre-injury 28 year old Stoudemire. I don’t think either of those guys are jumping at the opportunity to play with a 40 year old Steve Nash next year.

  3. Jeff C

    2014-2015 lakers should simply get, john wall, he wont ask for the max, cousins a strong center, and paul george who might might not ask for the max, strong team all around, young, and unselfish. kobe can then have whatever hes ego wants, this team will stay strong for a long time, if possible squeeze in Luol Deng n push George to PF, every one wants a big name which will cost big money when the Team should get a number of underated players that will keep the dynasty going strong. just an opinion

    • FlaveFlava

      John Wall has been asking for max which is why the Wizards haven’t reached an extension yet, and Paul George will most likely get Max and I highly doubt he’d want to or do well at the PF spot.

      • Jeff C

        bursting bubbles. lol. but the point being to much hype for these two (LB, CA) who probably wont come to LA and wont play well with Kobe who will still be usefull for another 2-3 years

        • FlaveFlava

          I agree with that, and there are still a lot of good options out there for next season outside of the bigger names. Guys like Bogut or Lowry maybe.

          • chris hines

            I’ve wanted Lowry on the Lakers since last offseason, I wanted them to find a way to trade for him from Houston. He made way more sense than Nash because he can defend, spot up shoot the 3, and he isn’t a player who has to have the ball in his hand to bring value.

            Bogut I’d rather stay away from, he simply doesn’t have the dynamic play making ability to make up for his injury status. At this point he’s a very solid 25 minute per night big man with a shaky future, not worth the kind of money he’ll likely get.

            Overall the 2014 free agent class is way overhyped, outside of LeBron and Carmelo there is no one to build a team around. There are some decent role players, but you aren’t combining any of those guys with Kobe, Nash, and maybe Gasol to make a Championship contender.

          • FlaveFlava

            Agreed the 2014 class is way overhyped. A lot of the good players on the market are restricted FA’s who won’t be let go by their respective teams.

          • chris hines

            Yeah once you take out the restricted free agents, players with ETOs, and players with player options it gets thin in a hurry. Danny Granger, Kyle Lowry, Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Gortat, and Emeka Okafor become the most attractive options really, which says a lot about how special this free agent class isn’t.

        • chris hines

          LeBron would play great with Kobe but Melo wouldn’t, they occupy too much of the same role. LeBron’s versatility and defense makes him a match with any player in the league. However he has no incentive to leave Miami and thus probably won’t.

    • chris hines

      Restricted free agency makes this an impossible pipe dream. Wall is going to get a max qualifying offer from someone and whatever offer he gets the Wizards will match. George is likely to get a max or close to max qualifying offer as well and just like the Wizards the Pacers will match any offer he gets, with Granger coming off the books they’ll have the space. Cousins for as big a headache as he’s been is also restricted so he’s also most likely going to be matched. At the least they’d likely just trade him instead of not matching and letting him walk.

      Getting any one of those players is highly unlikely, getting two, let alone three is impossible since they aren’t free to leave their current teams without those teams refusing to match the offer sheets.

      • David Elias

        Why are you so sure that Cousins will be matched. The Kings have thought about trading him and are said to be hesitant to invest max dollars in him. RFA does not equal not available.

        • chris hines

          Young, Superstar potential restricted free agents are as close to not available in free agency as it gets. There aren’t a long list of Wall, Cousins, George, type players who went unmatched as a restricted free agent in recent memory.

          Look at Eric Gordon, he was traded to the Pelicans and told them 100 times he didn’t want to play for them, going as far as to say his heart was in Phoenix, they still matched him. It simply makes more sense to match the contract and then come the trade deadline, or the following offseason, trade the guy and get something back if it doesn’t work out. Especially for a team like the Kings who don’t attract big time free agents at all, if they don’t draft or trade for top players they aren’t getting them. As big a headache as Cousins has been his talent is too much for them to simply let go for when they have the option to keep him and cap space means nothing to them in terms of big time signings.

  4. chris hines

    Yeah I don’t see it, Melo and LeBron both get more money staying in New York and neither has a real incentive to leave let alone to rebuild in New York.

    For the Knicks A’Mare, Tyson Chandler, and Bargs all come off the books in 2015, so if Melo opts out and re-signs next offseason he’d only have to wait one year for a total rebuild around himself as the man.

    As for LeBron he’ll likely be coming off of a 3peat, a team with a backup 40 year old Nash, a 36 year old Kobe, and Nick Young back on his player option isn’t exactly inviting.

    The Lakers are going to have to wait until at least 2015 to get any kind of Superstar player, they just need to hope Kevin Love exercises his ETO and wants to come back to California. Then they can try and lure Rondo over from the Celtics, if they miss out on one or both of those then it’s going to be long few years of mediocrity.

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