The Los Angeles Lakers and free agent Carmelo Anthony are pausing talks on a possible contract agreement unless the franchise makes a turn back toward pursuit of Western Conference playoffs contention, league sources told ESPN. The Lakers had been leaning toward signing Anthony for the rest of the season — until losses in four of the past five games left the organization and Anthony’s camp wondering if it made sense to bring the veteran into an unsettled environment with suddenly so little chance of making the playoffs, league sources said.
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Dave McMenamin: Rob Pelinka, on a conference call with reporters, says the Lakers are evaluating a “handful” of potential players to add with their open roster spot. He would not address Carmelo Anthony specifically. He also said the team is weighing adding now/waiting on that addition.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “One interesting team to watch leading up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline, the Lakers. They’d like to add more shooting to that roster. They have right now, 15 guaranteed contracts, which means, they don’t have an available slot for Carmelo Anthony. LeBron James would love to bring Anthony in to finish out the season with him.”
Nate Duncan: “Do you think that’s real, that [Carmelo Anthony] could end up with the Lakers?” Chris Haynes: “Well, LeBron James is over there. And he’s made it quite clear that he would like to play with Carmelo Anthony. So if we’re going off of the past, LeBron typically has a strong voice and teams usually operate in a manner that’s going to appease him. So I will say that he definitely has interest. I don’t know necessarily that the Lakers brass is all that interested in bringing Carmelo Anthony on board.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: The Lakers maintain interest in Anthony, but do not want to waive a guaranteed player to create a roster spot for him, league sources tell ESPN. If a roster spot eventually opens with LA, yes, the Lakers are a possible destination for Anthony.
The Lakers, who have a full roster and would have to waive someone to sign him if he was waived, continue to be tied to Anthony more than any other team. But according to a Lakers source, the fact that the roster is full is not a small obstacle. Not only is it unclear how they would clear the roster spot to add Anthony, or if there’s a possible trade to be made there with the Rockets, but a source close to James said Anthony’s conditioning and the overall state of his game are considered key factors here in terms of convincing the Lakers to add the player who had the worst season of his career with the Thunder and wasn’t any better with the Rockets.
LeBron James: I don’t know. I mean, listen, it’s just my opinion. But it’s not like I lit a fire in anybody’s ass. It’s just my opinion. People ask me questions, “Hey, how do you feel …” and you know, I think it would it be great to have Carmelo Anthony be on the Lakers. I believe Melo can still play the game. I believe I can help Melo. I know Melo better than Melo knows himself at times, and vice versa. So if the opportunity presents itself I would welcome it. That’s what it all boils down to.
Adding to it, James and close friend Carmelo Anthony were spotted dining together Monday night in New York, again prompting the idea of the Lakers picking up Anthony — assuming he’ll be released from the Houston Rockets following a mutual exile.
“We’ll see,” James said Tuesday night. “I’m not … I don’t run the team and obviously there are some things that need to be worked out on both sides, but I’ve always wanted to play along with Melo, and if the opportunity presents itself, it would be great. So we’ll see what happens.”
LeBron James would like to get Carmelo Anthony to Los Angeles with him on the Lakers, a league source told The Athletic. Anthony, 34, is estranged from the Houston Rockets – still on their payroll for the league-minimum $2.4 million but gone from the team after the two sides decided he was not a fit after just 10 games. He can’t be traded until at least Dec. 15, and sources said there had been no request made by James to Lakers president Magic Johnson or general manager Rob Pelinka to make a deal for his friend. Nor would there be.
But James and his camp still believe Anthony can play, that there could be a place for him as a contributor on a Lakers’ team that is young and continues to battle injuries. Brandon Ingram is the latest casualty. His sprained left ankle will keep him for at least the next two games.
In the coming days, it will become clear if any market still exists for Anthony, whether it’s L.A. or elsewhere. Multiple league executives questioned it to The Athletic. “Not really, no,” said one rival exec, granted anonymity to discuss the Lakers’ situation. “If LeBron really wants him, it might not matter. Magic should fight him on it. I know I would.”
James was asked “Carmelo and Lakers. Thoughts?”, and he, well, gave his thoughts (via Spectrum Sportsnet): “I have no idea to be honest. That’s not a question to ask me. Right now we have 15 roster spots right? We don’t even have a roster spot open right now. But that’s not a question for myself.”
The Los Angeles Lakers have been widely mentioned as a chief rival to the Rockets once Anthony actually becomes a free agent, largely because the Lakers’ new face of the franchise is Melo’s close friend LeBron James. But it’s been suggested to me — strongly — that the Lakers’ interest is overstated. The Miami Heat have been mentioned, too, which is understandable given that the Heat patriarch Pat Riley has been known to happily gamble on a big name in need of some image rehab. As of Tuesday morning, though, Houston was the unquestioned frontrunner for the former New York Knick.
Unlike Thomas, Anthony will have suitors. Three of them, at least: the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. The guess here, after speaking to people this weekend, is that the decision is between Houston or Los Angeles. Either would be a fascinating situation.
Jordan Schultz: Source close to Carmelo Anthony says the #Lakers are one of Melo’s preferred destinations, and that he’s high on chance to finally play with #LeBron. Keep in mind too, that Carmelo owns a house in LA.
Albert Nahmad: Lakers, Rockets and Heat are expected to have interest in Carmelo Anthony, per @Adrian Wojnarowski. All have roughly same amount to offer – anywhere from $2.4M minimum salary to around $5M, which in turn could be the range of a potential buyout with OKC if he were to have mutual interest.
Jovan Buha: Carmelo Anthony on if he’s thought about playing in Los Angeles: “No, no. I haven’t thought about it. I mean there was an opportunity during the deadline, and there was always talk over the past couple seasons with me somehow being connected to the Clippers or Lakers. At first it was the Lakers, and then now it’s the Clippers situation. So I try not to think about that, especially now when I’m still playing with the New York Knicks. I’ve got to go out there and prepare to play against these guys and other teams.”
And the Los Angeles Lakers are no longer in the kowtowing-to-the-aging-superstar business.
Charley Rosen: Since Melo has been mostly shooting blanks in the clutch — he was scoreless in the fourth quarter last night — it’s really a dead stop. Also, while he’s never been accused of playing defense, Anthony is intent on saving even more steps on this end of the game to conserve his energy for offense. He’s four months away from his 33rd birthday, his contract is humongous and contains a no-trade clause. It’s understood that he’d only accept being dealt to the Cavaliers or the Clippers. However, since his recurring complaint is that everybody blames him for every game the Knicks lose, perhaps Melo is sufficiently disgusted to accept a trade elsewhere. Perhaps to the young, rebuilding Lakers — after all, his wife’s name is La La.
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May 25, 2019 | 8:19 pm EDT Update
Sportradar, an authorized data distributor for the NBA, sent a letter Thursday notifying sportsbook operators that the league was forcing it to “cease providing to you NBA Official Data for use in the United States unless and until you are an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA.” According to the letter, obtained by ESPN, Sportradar will shut down access of the feed at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Game 1 of the Finals is Thursday.
The NBA’s data feed is primarily used by sportsbooks to run their live betting options, updating odds that are offered on different outcomes throughout the game. Live or in-game betting is a growing market in the U.S. but still does not represent significant betting handle for sportsbooks in Las Vegas. The vast majority of money bet on in-game wagering options is on the point spread, money-line and over/under total points, bookmakers say.