Los Angeles Lakers team president Magic Johnson seems content to surround LeBron James with some explosive personalities either slightly past their prime or with somewhat checkered pasts as teammates.
I am speaking of Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo, who were added to the Lakers’ roster a few short days after James announced that he would be joining the franchise. And the Lakers still have more money available to add more talent if they so choose.
Photo: Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball
One possible addition that surfaced this past weekend is Carmelo Anthony. He certainly fits the mantra of being past his prime and having a checkered past with teammates.
I have yet to find a report noting that Magic and the Lakers are interested in Anthony. In years past, James and Anthony often expressed a desire to play with each other.
I wonder if James still has these thoughts. I also wonder if Magic wants to add another ‘personality’ to his Lakers roster. Does he really need another veteran way past his prime to take minutes away from his younger players like Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball?
Anthony, during his one season with Oklahoma City last year, posted career lows in points/game, assists/game, minutes/game, shooting percentage and free-throw percentage. He clearly struggled playing with younger stars like Russell Westbrook and Paul George. There is only one basketball and Anthony clearly likes it in his hands. It did not work with Westbrook and George at OKC. I have to wonder how it would work with LeBron.
Word has it that Anthony was not ready to come off the bench as the sixth man for the Thunder. He might have to rethink that possibility if the Lakers show any interest in his services.
Perhaps Magic, LeBron, and the Lakers feel they need to assemble older stars to challenge Golden State in the Western Conference. In regard to Anthony, LeBron will let us know soon enough. You know he is calling the shots. How do we know this? Do you really think Magic and Lakers would add the likes of Stephenson and Rondo if James was not on the roster?
I Don’t Get It
Magic Johnson got the Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James. Michael Jordan got the Charlotte Hornets Tony Parker.
Yes, the Hornets biggest free agent signing is longtime San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker. The contract is for two years and $10 million.
I grant you that Parker is a Spurs legend. He spent 17 years with the organization after being selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2001 draft. He’s a six-time All-Star and a four-time champion, and he was named the NBA Finals MVP for the team’s triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007.
But what does Parker have left for the Hornets? He averaged career-low totals in points (7.7), assists (3.5) and rebounds (1.7) last season while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and playing just 19.5 minutes per contest.
Photo: Tony Parker
There will be some familiarity for Parker. He will team up with fellow Frenchman, Nicholas Batum with the Hornets and he will reunite with Charlotte head coach James Borrego, who left his spot as a Spurs assistant in May to take over the Hornets.
I guess Parker will back up starter Kemba Walker at the point. But I thought that was what recently drafted Devonte’ Graham out of Kansas was supposed to do this upcoming season.