Although many people think Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers made a huge mistake with his huge new contract extension (2 yrs,$48 million), but Kobe does not feel that their chances to capture a big name free agent is hindered as people suspect.
The rumors speculate that the Lakers are hopeful to steal Carmelo Anthony from the Big Apple.
Nov 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) on the bench against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
In reality, with some creative recruiting, and even with Steve Nash’s long-term contract, they still could sign a max player this summer, such as Anthony, and a mid-level caliber player to team with Pau Gasol and Bryant.
It just seems to make sense with the Knicks in collapse mode, it’s not inconceivable for Anthony to want out and sign for less with the Lakers.
The New York Post reported the following statement by Kobe Bryant:
"“Yeah, we have the opportunity to do that,’’ Bryant said of adding a max player. “I don’t know even know legally what I can say and not say about pending free agents and things like that, so I’ll kind of stay away from that, but we have the ability to do something special. We have to see what happens. The Lakers are a stand-up organization. They just stepped up to the plate and took care of it.’’"
The reason people say Melo could be in favor of leaving New York for Los Angeles is because if he plays alongside a player with the talent like Kobe Bryant not only could they contend for a title right away, but Kobe could make Melo tougher mentally with his work ethic and desire to win and be the best.
The only thing that will determine Melo’s decision to leave New York for Los Angeles will be if he truly thinks he has a better chance to win with the Lakers than the Knicks. Currently, Bryant and 39-year-old point guard Nash are the only players signed to significant contracts for next season with the Lakers. Thanks to Dwight Howard leaving them out to dry, they are now forced to completely reconstruct their entire roster.
Even if the franchise decided to release Nash under a special provision limiting his salary cap hit, Bryant would eat up roughly a third of the team’s room under the projected cap before anybody else joins him next season. When told Bryant’s in place for two more seasons after this, Anthony said:
"“What was it 40 [million a year]? They got off easy. It’s Kobe, man. They did a good deed to him. He’s been there his whole career. Obviously, he’ll bow out there. They did him right. It worked out for both parties.Time will tell, Anthony said of Bryant’s future as a star.“I know Kobe personally, how hard he works and his mind-set. Definitely he wants to come back not better than he was before [but] more refreshed, body healed. He’s a smart guy. If he wasn’t, he’d be playing by now. He understands the risk of coming back early.’’"
Not only does it seem like Melo praises Kobe’s talents he seems to be really excited they locked him up in LA, may be a hint for this summer, but until then we are left optimistic.
Let’s not forget that Melo has a home in Los Angeles, where his wife, La La, does a lot of her work. Also, Melo worked with Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni in the Summer Olympics and obviously he has been teammates with Kobe in the event as well.
It will be exciting to see how this whole story plays out throughout the season and the upcoming off-season where there are big time names that could potentially be on the market.