The Lakers fell to the Nets in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, completing a 1-3 road trip, and LeBron James showed visible signs of frustration during the loss, as Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports and ESPN’s Dave McMenamin note.
After a few Lakers flaws were exposed on that road trip, Goodwill wonders if James may be getting a little antsy for the team to upgrade its roster in preparation for a second-half playoff run. While there’s no indication that LeBron is pushing the front office to make moves, he was willing to discuss a couple specific players – Carmelo Anthony and Anthony Davis – on Tuesday.
“I don’t run the team and obviously there’s some things that need to be worked out on both sides,” James said when asked about the possibility of the Lakers adding Anthony, according to McMenamin. “But I’ve always wanted to play along Melo and if the opportunity presents itself, it would be great. So we’ll see what happens.”
LeBron was less equivocal when McMenamin inquired about the idea of the Lakers trading for Davis: “That would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible.”
As Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes, the Pelicans have shown no willingness to move Davis, and the star big man still appears very committed to New Orleans for now, so any trade scenarios involving AD are unlikely to become viable until at least the 2019 offseason. Carmelo, on the other hand, is a more realistic target, though reports have indicated that the Lakers’ front office doesn’t share LeBron’s enthusiasm for adding the 10-time All-Star.
According to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, James’ comments about Anthony came after the two friends dined at a Manhattan steakhouse earlier in the day. Carmelo is still technically under contract with the Rockets, but has been away from the club for more than a month as Houston’s front office decides whether to trade or release the veteran forward.
The Lakers have been exploring the trade market in search of an upgrade on the wing, having discussed Trevor Ariza with the Suns before he was sent to Washington. However, if they decide to go the free agent route, the Lakers would have to trade or release a player — they have a full 15-man roster, with all 15 players on guaranteed contracts.