The Los Angeles Lakers met with New York Knicks free agent forward Carmelo Anthony for nearly three hours on Thursday and apparently offered him a max contract during that meeting. Reports now claim that the Lakers offered the 30-year-old a four-year, $95 million deal.
While details are still emerging about what the team’s plans are to build around Anthony and star guard Kobe Bryant, it’s clear the Lakers are serious about trying to land the Syracuse product. Bryant is scheduled to meet with Anthony Thursday night and the two have long been close friends. Whether Kobe can sway Melo to come to Los Angeles is completely unknown at this point.
Reports earlier on Thursday suggested that Anthony was actually interested in returning to the Knicks and bringing Lakers free agent big man Pau Gasol with him. While the actual logistics of making that happen could be difficult, Gasol does have ties to the Knicks as his former head coach (Phil Jackson), point guard (Derek Fisher) and assistant coach (Kurt Rambis) are all now with the organization.
But the big news is that we have a leak in contract negotiations between the Lakers and Anthony. Los Angeles apparently hasn’t pitched Melo on taking less money in order to team with Bryant and others to attempt to win a title. Instead, general manager Mitch Kupchak and company went all-in to try and land him.
We’ll keep you updated on this story as more develops.