The Lakers and Carmelo Anthony have pressed pause on discussions about a possible contract, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Wojnarowski, the two sides may revisit the possibility if the Lakers move closer to playoff contention.
Anthony and the Lakers have been linked to one another for the last several months, and Wojnarowski suggests that the team had actually been leaning toward using its open roster spot to sign the former Rocket for the remainder of the season.
However, L.A. has lost four of its last five games, leaving both sides wondering if the fit and timing are right. According to Wojnarowski, Anthony’s camp is unsure about sending the veteran forward to an “unsettled environment with suddenly so little chance of making the playoffs.” If the 34-year-old returns to the NBA this season, he wants to do so for a team that could help provide a “positive conclusion” to his season, Woj says.
The Lakers have held onto the 10th spot in the Western Conference, but a stretch of eight losses in 11 games has greatly reduced their odds of climbing into the top eight. At 30-33, the Lakers are currently 4.5 games back of the No. 8 Spurs and five games back of the No. 7 Clippers.
Assuming Anthony and the Lakers don’t re-open their talks, the team will likely end up finding another use for its open roster spot. According to Woj, the club has talked about adding a center to bolster its frontcourt. Adding a young prospect may ultimately make more sense than signing an established veteran if the Lakers don’t get any closer to postseason contention.