The idea of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, both opting out of their contracts to join forces is crazy enough. But what if the two decided to become free agents and join forces with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers?
Completely impossible scenario, right? Well, not technically.
In what looks to be an unrealistic real-life version of an NBA 2K free agent frenzy, Ken Berger of CBS Sports suggests that while it’s unlikely, James and Anthony joining Bryant in Los Angeles this offseason looks to be the most plausible of all the possible superstar connections that have been rumored and/or suggested.
“While it is true that James loves Los Angeles — who doesn’t, I ask — it is not clear whether he’d love playing with Kobe Bryant, or whether Bryant would be willing to cede his throne to a new king. But of all the convoluted superstar concoctions that are possible this summer, James and Anthony joining Bryant with the Lakers might be the most plausible — as long as you operate from the assumption that both would be willing to take a significant pay cut to do so. If the Lakers waived Steve Nash and stretched his $9.7 million over the next three seasons, they’d have about $30 million to allocate to free agents.”
As absurd as it sounds to have all three elite players on the same roster, you have to wonder if there would be enough balls to go around. That fact in itself suggests its not really within the realm of possibility that the three would join forces, though I’m sure plenty of us suggested a similar notion with James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were all free agents in 2010 as well.
The other topic here is cash. Yes, the Lakers could clear some significant salary but even then, at $30 million split between James and Anthony they’d have to agree on deals paying them a little less than $15 million a piece. Not unheard of, though, that’s quite a dip from what both players could get from their current teams, the Miami Heat and New York Knicks.
So is it plausible? I guess by definition, sure. But is it going to happen? Not likely.
Still, the fact that James is reportedly ‘seriously considering’ opting out of his contract with the Heat puts a small bit of gasoline onto the fire.