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Melo x LeBronIn the same report that declared the Lakers are going slow with their coaching search in order to land LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony, they also indicate that James wants to play with his longtime friend and fellow 2003 draft member, Anthony.

Yet according to two people with knowledge of the situation, Anthony’s part in this fluid free agency situation is worth monitoring as James is known to be interested in eventually playing with his close friend. Anthony also has a player option on his deal for next season (worth $23.5 million), and his connection to James has teams like the Lakers, Knicks and even the Heat wondering whether he may be able to join the four-time NBA MVP. The people requested anonymity because of sensitive nature of free agency talk.

A Big Four with the Heat (James, Wade, Bosh and Anthony) is possible, but it would require significant pay cuts from all involved. The Heat have about $8 million in payroll for next season if James, Wade and Bosh all opt out. It comes in handy that the salary cap is expected to increase by about $5 million next season to $63.2 million, while the luxury tax threshold is expected to be $77 million.

The Lakers only have three players on their roster with guaranteed contracts next season, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre.  Still if the pair decides to head to LA, they’ll have to take paycuts, make less than Kobe and have to defer to him as Bryant still remains the face of the franchise.  Kobe, Lebron and Carmelo all playing for the Lakers just sounds farfetched.

As for the Knicks they’d have to hope that LeBron opts in on the final year of his Miami contract and then come to the Knicks in 2015 when Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani come off the books.  He could then team up with Anthony the same way he did Wade.

Clearly this is all speculation and sounds a bit far fetched but hey you never know.  The new NBA seems to be all about big players teaming up.

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USA Today

– Shaina Auxilly (@Shay_Marie)