After spending the last two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Carmelo Anthony will be a free agent this offseason.
While he had a retirement date circled on his calendar before joining the Blazers, the 10x NBA All-Star and future Hall of Famer hasn’t called it quits just yet. Melo could enter his 19th season in the league with a new team.
Evan Massey of NBA Analysis Network believes the Los Angeles Lakers could be one of the teams interested in pursuing the 37-year-old veteran.
“Rumors have been swirling that the Lakers will look to move on from Kyle Kuzma this offseason,” Massey said. “That isn’t much of a surprise, but they could target Anthony to replace him. NBA Analysis Network spoke to a source that stated that the Lakers are expected to pursue Anthony in free agency.
“The source mentioned that the friendship between James and Anthony would help this move come to fruition.”
Melo joining the Lakers wouldn’t be a surprise. Since high school, he and James have been best friends and two of the greatest players in the NBA. With Melo now 37 and LeBron 36, the two could team up in LA so Melo can finally go out with a ring of his own.
There’s only one snag to this scenario, though. Melo has publicly stated he wants to retire in Portland.
“I feel like this is the place for me to end my career,” he said in Jan. 2020. “It could have happened earlier, but it didn’t. Now, where I’m at in my life and my career—this is where I want to retire.”
Those comments did come before he re-signed in Portland this past season and the Blazers fell to the Denver Nuggets in six games to exit the playoffs in the first round. For the 2020-21 season, Anthony came off the bench for 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent of his three-point attempts.
Melo isn’t the superstar he once was, but that “positive impact on the game” is why the Lakers could look to bring Melo to LA this offseason, according to Massey.
Whether he ends up in Los Angeles or somewhere else around the league, Melo has had some incredible moments in Rip City. From reaching 10th on the NBA’s All-Time Scoring List to Bubble Melo in Orlando. We’ll never forget the whole Moda Center singing him Happy Birthday this past March. The Melo era in Portland is one Blazer fans will always relish.
This Post was originally published on nbcsports.com