Why Los Angeles Lakers Have a Real Chance to Sign Carmelo Anthony

With a legacy of winning, a superstar running mate who's already secured a Hall of Fame spot and a market that celebrates stars like few others, the Los Angeles Lakers have plenty to offer free-agent scoring machine Carmelo Anthony.

Oh, and they have a Brink's truck set aside just waiting on his directions, almost the size of the one New York Knicks president Phil Jackson has on standby.

L.A.'s pursuit of the seven-time All-Star is more than just a purple-and-gold-stained pipe dream. If that was the case, Anthony would have no reason to hold court with the Lakers brass like he will Thursday, per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne:

Still, from the outside looking in, they come off as long shots.

After all, the Knicks can give him more money and a bigger market to build his brand. The Chicago Bulls might have the deepest roster of any Anthony suitor. The Houston Rockets pack the meanest one-two punch with James Harden and Dwight Howard. The Dallas Mavericks have the makings of a contender with a spot saved for Anthony at the top of the totem pole.

The Lakers? They have six players who figure to be a part of next season's rotation: two are old (Kobe Bryant, 35, Steve Nash, 40), two are unproven (rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson) and two are forgettable (Robert Sacre and Kendall Marshall). The coaching seat vacated by Mike D'Antoni after the season remains unoccupied.

In terms of basketball reasons, the Lakers don't have a lot of good ones to offer. Not as many as Anthony's other suitors, at least.

Yet, rarely are these decisions made strictly for basketball reasons. There are business, family and social factors to weigh, each of which could pull Anthony a different direction.

The prospect of winning matters, but perhaps not as much as he's said it does, per Ian Begley of ESPN New York. If he wanted the fastest, clearest path to the title, his rec...

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