The l. a. Lakers will sign free-agent forward Carmelo Anthony to a one-year deal, his manager tells ESPN’s, Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will presumably be for the veteran’s minimum, an equivalent amount he has played for over the past two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. The signing represents a career-long goal for Anthony and shut friend LeBron James. the 2 have played together for Team USA, but never within the NBA. James even told Howard Beck in 2016 that he would take a salary cut to play with Anthony, Dwyane Wade (who remains retired), and Chris Paul (who was out of the Lakers’ price range this offseason).
James will still make his maximum salary this season. The Lakers made a variety of other moves Tuesday, reportedly agreeing to affect free-agent guard Malik Monk, who will bring needed shooting to the team. Also, l. a. added Kendrick Nunn on a two-year deal while Talen Horton-Tucker re-signed with the Lakers on a three-year deal worth $32 million. The Lakers entered representation with only four players under guaranteed contracts, because of their blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook. That created a desperate need for depth, particularly among players who will shoot. Anthony, seemingly, will fill that void. He shot 40.9 percent from behind the arc last season, but perhaps more importantly, 41.8 percent of his shot attempts came from behind the arc. He came off the bench full-time for the primary in his career last season, and offensively, he adjusted to his new role well.
Where he always struggled has been on defense, and people issues persisted last season in Portland. When Anthony was on the ground, the Blazers allowed 115.8 points per 100 possessions last season. That was the second-worst mark on the team behind second-year forward Nassir Little. When did he sit? They improved by allowing only 112.1 points per 100 possessions. That tied with Damian Lillard for rock bottom figure among Blazers players once they weren’t within the game. No version of the Blazers was good defensively, but they were at their worst with Anthony within the game.
The Lakers are built around defense ever since Anthony Davis and Frank Vogel joined the team in 2019. it’ll be up to them to work out the way to cash in of Anthony’s offensive gifts while protecting him on the defensive end of the ground. If they will do so, they’re going to give Anthony his best chance yet to win his first career championship.