Would Carmelo Anthony make Lakers better team?

February 10, 2011

Kobe, Phil make it work

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

Carmelo Anthony would make any team he plays for better because the NBA is all about talent and creating matchup problems.

In both departments, Anthony succeeds. And don't fret about Anthony and Kobe Bryant coexisting: Great players figure it out. Furthermore, Phil Jackson is a master at meshing talent, although how Anthony would fit in the triangle offense is a question mark. Anthony is one of the game's elite scorers, and the Lakers have enough size to overcome the loss of Andrew Bynum, though most reports state this is all a fantasy because the Lakers aren't parting with Bynum.

Still, there's a reason Anthony's Nuggets teams have flamed out in the first round of so many playoff runs. He isn't a great defender, and his teams have lacked the ability to make the transition to playoff basketball, which is more about half-court offense, rebounding and defense.

kcjohnson@tribune.com

Offense, yes; overall, no

Broderick Turner

Los Angeles Times

If the Lakers acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets for center Andrew Bynum, Denver's All-Star forward would make the Lakers a better offensive team.

But Anthony wouldn't make the Lakers a better overall team.

Anthony's defense is suspect at best. His rebounding is decent. And his willingness to share the basketball is questionable.

Sure, it would be fun to see the Lakers going on scoring rampages every game with Anthony in the lineup. But the Lakers already average 103.1 points, seventh-best in the NBA.

What matters in the NBA, particularly in the playoffs, is size. And a 7-foot Bynum gives the Lakers a bigger advantage than the 6-8 Anthony.

baturner@tribune.com

Not at cost of Bynum

Ira Winderman

Sun Sentinel

Is Carmelo Anthony an upgrade at small forward over Ron Artest? Certainly, as are many small forwards.

But the Lakers' singular advantage, perhaps even more than Kobe Bryant at this stage, is the ability to field a lengthy front line of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. Remove Bynum from that equation and Gasol's productivity diminishes significantly at center, as does Odom's height advantage at power forward.

Anthony in exchange for anyone on the roster other than Bryant, Bynum or Gasol makes all the sense in the world, except, of course, to the Nuggets.

The sense is this is all a plant by the Nuggets to get the Knicks to ante up more than their current proposals.

The team that would benefit most from a Bynum-for-Anthony deal? The Spurs.

iwinderman@tribune.com

Yes, but not until 2012

Kevin Van Valkenburg

Baltimore Sun

Carmelo Anthony definitely would make the Lakers a better team.

Problem is, it wouldn't actually happen until 2012. Trading for him this season would create matchup issues for every other team in the league, but it also would turn into a huge mess. Is 'Melo going to be able to pick up the nuances of the triangle offense on the fly?

As far as winning a title in 2011, I don't see how Anthony improves this team. Championship basketball teams thrive on cohesiveness. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom already are too passive about getting the ball and exploiting mismatches. Further deferring to Anthony, without a whole offseason to adapt, isn't going improve the situation.

So, yes, they should trade for him. But with the understanding that it's about the future, not the present.

kvanvalkenburg2@tribune.com

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