With free agency not officially starting until 12:01 Eastern time on July 1st, that only restricts front offices from speaking with players until that date. This is certainly something Kobe Bryant knows as he’s already started recruiting Carmelo Anthony prior to the start of free agency, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.
Though the Los Angeles Lakers are not on Anthony’s current list, Kobe Bryant plans to recruit him to the team. Bryant, who is close with Anthony, spoke to him by telephone when they were in separate parts of Europe earlier this week.
Bryant told ESPN.com in a text message that he plans to meet with Anthony, as well.
The Black Mamba and ‘Melo have long been friends and, at least for Bryant, also want to be teammates. The possibility of Melo on the Lakers has been something of high controversy for fans, but it can’t be denied that Melo brings star power to a Lakers team lacking it sans Bryant.
The bad news for those hopeful of seeing Anthony in purple and gold is that it appears he doesn’t intend on meeting with the Lakers, according to the same report from Broussard. Melo’s current shortlist consists of Houston, Dallas, and Chicago, with the Knicks still in the hunt.
The pipe dream for the Lakers, which is still MANY moves away, is teaming up Bryant with Melo and LeBron James. The move would require the Lakers dumping Nash’s contract and convincing the two free agents to take a pay cut, but it’s a scenario still in play, no matter how small the chances are.