How Los Angeles Lakers Can Go from Long Shots to Favorites for Carmelo Anthony

Somehow, someway, the Los Angeles Lakers have been flying under the radar in their pursuit of superstar free agent Carmelo Anthony.

Part of their understated status is self-inflicted. It became clear midway through last season that the Lakers would, in all likelihood, duck spending inordinate amounts of cash this year and patiently yet anxiously await summer 2015, when more star free agents would be available.

Plans, like they tend to do under the bright lights of Hollywood, have changed. The Lakers' passive search for free-agent stars has turned aggressive. They're willing to write checks now, preparing to make a splash now.

Anthony has, naturally, topped their list of prospective targets. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, they're pulling out all the stops for his free-agent sales pitch, offering everything they can, playing to his personal and professional interests.

And while they remain long shots to rip him from the New York Knicks' clutches, the Lakers have one simplistically powerful element diligently working in their favor: The lengths they're ready to travel for Anthony might just exceed those of everyone else.


Pulling Out All the Stops

Obligatory disclaimer: This isn't a ringing endorsement for the Lakers to mortgage their future and move heaven and earth for Anthony. 

I've personally argued the contrary on more than one occasion in recent months. My stance hasn't changed. But Los Angeles' has, which is all that matters.

This isn't about me, you or the shirtless ukulele-playing gentleman who is fluent in gibberish and delivers eclectic oratories on the importance of the letter "Q" you sometimes pass on the street. This is about the Lakers, their renewed interest in making moves now and their attempt to clothe Melo in purple and gold.

Those who doubt the significance of their pursuit have been sil...

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