My esteemed colleague and lakeshowlife.com editor @jacobrude just recently posted a commentary as to why the LA Lakers should do everything they can to sign free agent to be and NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony this summer. Now if you had asked me only a few months ago, I would have been fully on board with the idea of it, downright giddy in fact, as the Lakers would finally have their next bona-fide star who Kobe Bryant could pass his franchise torch onto. But, as times change, so do mindsets, and mine is no longer convinced Anthony is the answer to the Lakers’ rebuilding questions. As the before mentioned article went over reasons the Lakers should sign Anthony, here are reasons why they should not, also coming from a life-long Lakers fan.
1. ANTHONY IS A 1-DIMENSIONAL PLAYER
This is by far the biggest criticism against Anthony’s game, and from what I’ve seen, it is rightly deserved. Anthony is a scoring machine, and every year contends for the NBA scoring title, but that is all. He does not make those around him better, and more often than not tries to do it all himself. You take away Anthony’s ability to score, you take away 90% of his game.
Anthony is 29 now, and will be 30 when free agency begins. This is the prime of his career, and likely as good as he is going to get, which don’t get me wrong, is quite good, and on his way to a 1st ballot hall of fame induction. With the Lakers looking to both rebuild, and assemble a championship caliber during Kobe Bryant’s 2 remaining years, Anthony would seem to fit the mold of the latter, but not the former. If the Lakers sign him, it will likely be a 4 year deal, which will make him 34 years old when his contract is up. With their remaining cap money, the Lakers should be looking for an upcoming star player who is just now entering or on his way to his prime, not already in the middle of it.
3. MONEY IS A THANG
Despite what Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri may tell us, money does matter. No matter where Anthony decides to commit, be it LA, Chicago, or remaining in New York, he will be offered and agree to the maximum allowable deal. Under the new CBA, that means $124 million from the Knicks, or $96 million from any other team. With Kobe Bryant already locked in for 2 more years at a combined $50 million, there goes the bulk of the Lakers cap space for the next 2 years. And who will the Lakers be able to add to put around Bryant and Anthony? Despite their close friendship, they are both alpha dogs, Bryant being the supreme for the Lakers obviously. What other free agents will be willing to come to the Lakers for much less money than other teams will be able to offer, when they know the bulk of the shots will be for the 2 alpha dogs?
4. THERE ARE OTHER FISH IN THE SEA
Yes, Carmelo Anthony is quickly being views as the top obtainable free agent this summer. Who says the Lakers have to do something THIS summer? With Bryant set to be out for most of the remainder of the season, the Lakers are poised to have a top 10 pick in what is considered to be a very deep draft. Why not use the pick to really set up for the future, and use some of the cap money to sign some solid role players. Then, in the summer of 2015, after Steve Nash’s contract is off the books, and Kobe is entering his likely final season, the Lakers will be in a position to make a run at potential top free agents Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo, both who will be in their primes. Love has expressed interest in the Lakers in the past, and it’s no secret Lakers GM Mitch Kupchack has coveted Rondo since 2010.