After a little over a 2 and half hour meeting with GM Mitch Kupchak and Los Angeles Lakers owner shit, Carmelo Anthony emerged, being walked out by Kupchak to his car to reporters. All indications thus far are that Carmelo’s meeting with the Lakers went “well.”
When asked about meeting Kobe Bryant, whom was unable to attend the meeting in time due to the New York Knicks…and Phil Jackson moving their meeting up to meet Anthony as well, Melo simply stated, “we’ll see.” Although Kobe could not attend the formal meeting with the Lakers, there has been talk that Kobe and Melo will undoubtedly meet with one another. Perhaps, to serve as the “closer” before Melo makes his final decision, in which Melo has voiced to do over the holiday weekend.
There has been no talk of the Lakers quite yet offering Melo a contract. There are also slight (slight meaning huge) obstacles for the Lakers to hurdle in order to ante up the money for a max contract.
One obstacle is the fact that the Knicks can offer Melo the most at $129 million for 5 years. Although publicly challenged by Phil Jackson to take a slight cut, the Knicks hand could still be challenged to offer all they can muster anyway.
The Lakers have enough cap space to offer Melo the 4-year $96 million max, but it’ll inevitably come at a price. One of those prices mentioned is Steve Nash, whom very well could face being waived by L.A. in order for the Lakers to make room for other moves, such as filling the roster and signing first round draft pick Julius Randle. A max deal and Kobe’s contract will total to over $46 million of the projected $62.5 salary cap. There will be enough money to make subtle moves, but that all depends on the directions taken on Steve Nash, and of course, Pau Gasol.
Despite there being an interest by Gasol to return to L.A., the consensus of many is that he will wait things out to see what the decisions of Carmelo Anthony and maybe LeBron James, behold before going forward.
Thus far no contract offer has been made known. And, Phil Jackson just so happens to be in L.A., securing Kurt Rambis on the Knicks staff as an assistant coach, and meeting with Carmelo Anthony later on Thursday night. The chess game has officially begun for the chase for Melo.