Carmelo Anthony

Lakers Notes: Anthony, LeBron, Nunn, Coaching Staff

Carmelo Anthony was hoping to return to the Trail Blazers this summer before LeBron James urged him to join the Lakers, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Appearing on Haynes’ “Posted Up” podcast, Anthony said he was waiting to see if Portland was interested in bringing him back when James reached out to him. Anthony spent the last two years with the Blazers, but said management didn’t contact him about a return.

“No, not the way I thought. But honestly, I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “… Not to say Portland did anything wrong, but I was sitting around because I’m a loyal person. I didn’t want to leave (Damian Lillard) and CJ (McCollum) and those guys. But I know the business.”

In addition to his long friendship with James, Anthony chose the Lakers because he sees the team as his best hope to cap off his career with a championship. He told Haynes that several other organizations expressed interest, which felt good after being out of the league two years ago.

“New York was always there, always a story,” Anthony said. “I told my son when he made it to high school, I’d be there. Philly, I didn’t get a chance to converse with Philly, but there was interest. New Orleans had interest. It felt good to see that again and being a part of teams being interested in me when 18-20 months again, it was nobody.”

There’s more from L.A.:

  • James has played fewer minutes per game each season since 2016/17, and Jovan Buha of The Athletic expects that trend to continue this year. James will turn 37 in December and the Lakers will be try to be careful with him to avoid the kind of long-term injury he had last season.
  • Of all the players the Lakers added in free agency, Kendrick Nunn was probably the most surprising, Buha adds in the same piece. The former Heat guard signed for the taxpayer mid-level exception, and Buha speculates that he could have gotten a better offer from another team. Buha also questions whether Nunn will get the playing time he’s used to with Russell Westbrook handling most of the minutes at point guard.
  • The Lakers have officially announced the additions of David Fizdale and John Lucas III as assistant coaches (Twitter link). Both hires were previously reported.

California Notes: Kings, Carmelo, Lakers

The Kings have had a relatively quiet 2021 offseason thus far, Zach Harper of The Athletic observes in a thorough recap of Sacramento’s transactions across every position. Sacramento shored up their big man depth behind Richaun Holmes, whom they re-signed to a reasonable four-year, $46.5MM deal. Sacramento also added Tristan Thompson via trade and brought back old friend Alex Len on a two-year agreement.

Harper notes that the Kings appear to have also improved on the lead guard front, having drafted Summer League co-MVP Davion Mitchell with the ninth selection out of Baylor. However, Harper opines that, thanks to the strength of several clubs at the top of the Western Conference, the Kings will be once again struggling to make the play-in tournament for the 2022 postseason.

Another item of interest is the long-term future of maximum-salaried Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox with the team, in the wake of 2021 All-Rookie first team guard Tyrese Haliburton and now Mitchell both flashing significant promise.

There’s more out of California:

  • New Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, reflected on his first official workout for Los Angeles, held at the UCLA Health Training Center. “That purple and gold is different, it always has been and it always will be,” Anthony said, per Spectrum SportsNet (Twitter video link). “I’m just happy to be a part of it. I wish my fans could see me here working, but just know that I’m in here working.” Anthony, 37, proved his mettle as a valuable offensive role player for two playoff-bound Trail Blazers teams during the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. Last year, Anthony averaged 13.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG, while posting a solid shooting line of .421/.409/.890.
  • The veteran-heavy Lakers added a lot of familiar faces, including five who have played for the team before. Dave McMenamin of ESPN details how the five once-and-future Lakers made their way back to Los Angeles, and what the team and fans should reasonably anticipate from their on-court output. Three of those former Lakers have won titles with the club. Point guard Rajon Rondo (previously with the Lakers from 2018-20) and center Dwight Howard (a Laker for the 2012/13 and the 2019/20 seasons) were both members of a championship-winning 2019/20 L.A. squad. Forward Trevor Ariza was a key two-way player for the 2008/09 champions.
  • In case you missed it, former NBA point guard Darren Collison scrimmaged with the Warriors this week ahead of a potential comeback. Collison, a California native, was most recently the starting point guard for a playoff-bound Pacers club during the 2018/19 season.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Armstrong, Paul, Anthony

A $659K contract guarantee kicks in Wednesday for Gary Payton II, which may affect the Warriors‘ decision to keep him on the roster, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. There’s an expectation that Golden State will release Payton with the hope of re-signing him if he clears waivers, Slater adds. That would give him a chance to win a roster spot in camp on a non-guaranteed deal.

Payton finished last season with the Warriors, appearing in 10 games after signing a pair of 10-day contracts in April. Slater points out that the team could use a defensive specialist like Payton to make up for the losses of Kelly Oubre and Kent Bazemore.

Golden State’s roster will be nearly set heading into camp, Slater notes. Thirteen players have guaranteed contracts and a large part of Damion Lee‘s deal will become guaranteed if he remains with the team through August 15, which is expected. Payton may wind up competing for the final roster spot with Mychal Mulder, whose contract is non-guaranteed. A source told Slater that the Warriors are “still monitoring” the free agent market in hopes of adding another veteran.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Former NBA center Hilton Armstrong has joined the Warriors‘ coaching staff, Slater adds. He will work in the video department and has been involved with the Summer League team in Sacramento and Las Vegas.
  • Suns guard Chris Paul should be healed in plenty of time for training camp after having surgery on his left wrist after the NBA Finals, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic“For Chris, it was something minor,” general manager James Jones said in an ESPN interview. “He’ll be ready in a couple of weeks to get back out on the court with these guys as we start to try to get back after this short offseason.”  
  • Carmelo Anthony is thrilled to finally team up with his long-time friend LeBron James on the Lakers, per Mark Medina of USA Today. They have both been in the league for 18 years, but are teammates for the first time after Anthony agreed to a one-year contract with L.A. “Most people would say you should’ve gotten together years ago or earlier in our careers. But we were in two different lanes,” Anthony said. “We were in two different paths. Everything comes full circle.”

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Paul, Ariza, Lakers, Howard

The two-year, $21.6MM commitment the Clippers made to Reggie Jackson, including a $10.38MM cap hit next season, will have major tax implications for the team, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. After accounting for new contracts for Jackson and Kawhi Leonard, who is expected to sign for the maximum, the Clippers’ tax bill is projected to be $95MM. Taking into account both salaries and tax penalties, the cost of the roster will be $265MM, says Marks.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • In a separate tweet, Marks provides the specific details on Chris Paul‘s new four-year, $120MM contract with the Suns, confirming a report that the deal includes $75MM in guaranteed money. It will start at $30MM before dipping in year two and increasing again in the third year, which is partially guaranteed for $15.8MM. The structure will allow Phoenix to stay out of the tax in 2021/22 and ensures the deal’s cap hit will be lowest in ’22/23, when potential new contracts for Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges go into effect.
  • Trevor Ariza, who has signed a one-year deal with the Lakers, said that Russell Westbrook recruited him, Mark Medina of USA Today tweets. Westbrook called Ariza approximately 20 minutes after Westbrook was traded to the Lakers, the veteran forward said. He also said his children urged him to sign with the Lakers.
  • The Lakers may be stockpiling aging veterans like Ariza, Carmelo Anthony, Wayne Ellington and Dwight Howard to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis win another title, but Howard said there won’t be a lack of energy or enthusiasm, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. “I think we have new life, all of us coming together and playing,” he said of the Lakers’ vets. “I think it’s going to provide new life being able to see who we have on our roster, who’s going to be playing alongside of us each and every day. I think we’ll have so much energy it will be hard to contain.”

Lakers Sign Carmelo Anthony To One-Year Deal

AUGUST 6: Anthony’s deal with the Lakers is now official, according to a press release from the team.


AUGUST 3: Carmelo Anthony will be teaming up with Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James in Los Angeles, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who hears from Anthony’s manager Bay Frazier that the veteran forward has agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Lakers.

Anthony has confirmed the news in a video announcement on Twitter. He’ll get a minimum-salary contract.

Anthony was said to be weighing interest from both the Lakers and Knicks on the first day of free agency and ultimately opted to team up with his close friend James for the first time rather than pursuing a second stint in New York.

After consistently averaging 20+ points per game earlier in his NBA career, the 37-year-old forward has transitioned into a complementary role in Portland over the last two seasons.

He averaged 13.4 PPG and 3.1 RPG on .421/.409/.890 shooting in 69 games (24.5 MPG) for the Blazers in 2020/21, accepting a full-time role off the bench for the first time in his career.

The Lakers have been busy filling out their rotation around their stars since free agency began less than 24 hours ago. So far the team has come to terms with Anthony, Malik Monk, Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, and Dwight Howard.

Free Agency Rumors: Oubre, Mills, Dinwiddie, Carmelo, More

Free agent swingman Kelly Oubre received interest from the Heat after free agency began, but didn’t set a meeting with Miami because he is hoping to net a contract “well above” the mid-level exception, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).

Now that Miami has committed to using most of its mid-level exception on P.J. Tucker, Oubre is almost certainly off the table for the Heat, even if his asking price drops.

Here are more free agency rumors from around the NBA world:

  • Free agent sharpshooting combo guard Patty Mills has received interest from the Lakers and Nets, per Marc Stein of Substack (via Twitter). Anthony Slater of The Athletic adds (Twitter link) that the Warriors could also pursue Mills and posits that he may fetch a deal that within range of the taxpayer mid-level. Jordan Schultz of ESPN tweets that the Nets are apparently a distant third in the sweepstakes to sign Mills.
  • Jordan Schultz of ESPN reports (Twitter link) that free agent point guard Spencer Dinwiddie appears unlikely to sign with the Mavericks.
  • 37-year-old free agent forward Carmelo Anthony continues to weigh interest from the Lakers and Knicks, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link).
  • Before Alex Caruso finalized his four-year agreement with the Bulls, Caruso’s camp checked back in with the Lakers and was told L.A. wouldn’t be putting a counter-offer on the table, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Sam Amick of The Athletic.
  • Newly re-signed Nuggets reserve power forward JaMychal Green fielded richer offers in free agency than the two-year, $17MM contract he ultimately signed to remain in Denver, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post. Singer says the Pelicans, Timberwolves, and Spurs were the other teams most interested in Green.

Luke Adams contributed to this report.

Free Agency Rumors: Batum, Iguodala, Melo, Boban

Clippers forward Nicolas Batum will not be wanting for suitors this offseason after a bounce-back performance with Los Angeles in 2020/21. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link) that, in addition to the Clippers, other playoff-caliber teams are interested in the versatile player’s services, including the Heat, Warriors and Pacers.

After being waived by the Hornets ahead of the 2020/21 season, Batum became a highly valuable 3-and-D addition on the Clippers roster, even moving into the starting lineup as the club’s power forward ahead of the much-pricier Marcus Morris for much of the season, before Morris’ play turned a corner and he eventually reclaimed the gig.

Batum logged 27.4 MPG on a Clippers team that broke through the Western Conference Finals for the first time in its history. He averaged 8.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.6 BPG. The 32-year-old posted a shooting line of .464/.404/.828.

Here are more free agency rumors from around the NBA:

  • Veteran Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony could reunite with the Knicks this summer, per ESPN’s Jordan Schultz (via Twitter). Anthony, who made six All-Star appearances during his previous stint in New York, averaged 13.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG on .421/.409/.890 shooting splits as a reserve with Portland across 69 games in the 2020/21 season. Schultz notes that Knicks team president Leon Rose has a good rapport with Anthony, having served as the probable Hall-of-Famer’s longtime agent before moving into his current front office role with New York.
  • After Miami opted to decline his $15MM player option for the 2021/22 season, veteran forward Andre Iguodala is now an unrestricted free agent once again and the Warriors are expected to chat with the 37-year-old about a possible reunion, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Jordan Schultz of ESPN reports (Twitter link) that the new-look Lakers are also eyeballing Iguodala as a savvy veteran contributor. Given Iguodala’s advanced age and on-court performance of late, it seems likely he’ll have to settle for significantly less than his $15MM player option for the season.
  • The Mavericks expect to be able to re-sign reserve big man Boban Marjanović this summer, reports Marc Stein (via Twitter). The Mavericks first signed the 7’4″ center in free agency during the 2019 offseason, on a two-year, $7MM deal. The 32-year-old averaged just 8.2 MPG as a backup big with a playoff Dallas team this year, but in that brief time he produced (in a per-minute sense), averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.9 RPG.

Free Agency Rumors: Lowry, Dragic, Ball, Lakers, DeRozan, McGee

Miami is a legitimate option for Raptors guard Kyle Lowry in free agency, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. A source tells Reynolds that the Heat “have his attention and have had it for a while.”

Lowry will be among the top point guards on the market when free agency begins Monday, with the Pelicans, Mavericks and Sixers all likely to be heavily involved. Toronto may also make a strong bid to hang onto Lowry, who has been with the organization since 2012.

There are plenty of rumors on the eve of free agency:

  • Many teams are expected to be interested in veteran guard Goran Dragic if the Heat turn down their $19.4MM team option and make him a free agent, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Charania doesn’t identify any of the potential suitors, but says they include “several NBA title and postseason contenders.” Miami has a deadline of 5:00pm Eastern Time today to reach a decision on Dragic, along with a $15MM option on Andre Iguodala.
  • William Guillory and John Hollinger of The Athletic break down sign-and-trade possibilities for the Pelicans involving Lonzo Ball. The Bulls, Pacers, Clippers, Celtics and Wizards are all mentioned as potential sign-and-trade partners.
  • Dwight Howard could return to the Lakers to provide help at center, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times suggests in a free agent roundtable on both L.A. teams. Howard helped the Lakers win a title in 2020 before signing with the Sixers last offseason. Turner names Patty Mills, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, Carmelo Anthony, Jeff Green, Iguodala, and Dragic as other possible targets. The Clippers may pursue DeMar DeRozan if he’s willing to take a pay cut, Andrew Greif states in the same piece.
  • JaVale McGee would “definitely” consider returning to the Nuggets, stating that a chance to win will be his priority in free agency, as Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post details.

Western Rumors: Lakers, Pelicans, McDermott, Ja. Green, Holmes, More

After agreeing to acquire Russell Westbrook from Washington, the Lakers won’t have a ton of cap flexibility to add outside free agents this offseason. Los Angeles will likely be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum-salary contracts, since acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would create a hard cap that the team wouldn’t be able to stay under.

However, even with limited resources, that doesn’t mean the Lakers will have to wait until the second or third wave of free agency to go bargain hunting. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, people around the NBA believe that several veterans in search of a championship ring could be willing to pass on more lucrative offers elsewhere to join the Lakers. Fischer identifies DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Carmelo Anthony as some players who may fit that bill.

Here are a few more rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans, Suns, and Nuggets are believed to be among the teams interested in pursuing Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott in free agency, according to Fischer. A recent report from The Indianapolis Star suggested Indiana may lose McDermott this summer.
  • A return to the Nuggets is a possibility for JaMychal Green, but the power forward is also expected to draw interest from the Pelicans and Timberwolves, says Fischer.
  • Following up on a Marc Stein report linking Daniel Theis to the Rockets, Fischer confirms Houston is eyeing the veteran big man and suggests the team’s $8.2MM trade exception could be used to land Theis in a sign-and-trade.
  • According to Fischer, sources expect Richaun Holmes to remain with the Kings. That’s a bit of a surprise — Sacramento only has Holmes’ Early Bird rights and has been linked to several other centers, having agreed on Friday to acquire Tristan Thompson. But the Hornets, one of Holmes’ presumed suitors, are no longer expected to go big for a free agent center after drafting Kai Jones and agreeing to trade for Mason Plumlee, per Fischer. The Raptors, Mavericks, and Knicks may still be possibilities for Holmes, Fischer adds.
  • The Mavericks are viewed as the favorites to sign Sterling Brown in free agency, league sources tell Fischer.

Carmelo Anthony Wins Inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award

Blazers‘ forward Carmelo Anthony has won the first ever Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Anthony was chosen by a selection committee composed of notable social justice leaders such as Abdul-Jabbar, Director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport Dr. Richard Lapchick, student activist Teyonna Lofton, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía, Rise Founder and CEO Amanda Nguyen, and NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum.

Fellow finalists were Harrison Barnes of the KingsSixers forward Tobias Harris, Jrue Holiday of the Bucks and Juan Toscano-Anderson of the Warriors, writes Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews.com.

Every finalist receives a $25,000 contribution to a social justice organization of their choice, and Anthony will receive a $100,000 contribution to his choice of organization.

Anthony’s contributions as a social justice champion include working on issues of systemic racism, police brutality, and criminal justice reform.  He launched the Carmelo Anthony Foundation 15 years ago to provide community outreach to fuel change and social reforms in local communities. In 2020, he served as guest Editor-in-Chief for Slam Magazine’s Special Social Justice Issue.