Question of the Day: Would Carmelo Anthony make the Lakers a better team?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on the trade rumors involving the Denver Nuggets' superstar. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times
If the Lakers acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets for Los Angeles center Andrew Bynum, Denver’s all-star forward would make the Lakers a better offensive team.
Imagine the offensive weapons Lakers Coach Phil Jackson would have at his disposal: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Anthony. That threesome would rival any in the NBA, including Miami’s Big Three of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
But Anthony wouldn’t make the Lakers a better overall team. (A little side note: The Lakers would have to dump Ron Artest if they got Anthony.)
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 per game, 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-foot-8 Anthony.
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 is somewhat of 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.
Compliments aside, there's a reason Anthony's Nuggets teams have flamed out in the first round of so many playoff runs. Anthony isn't a great defender and his teams have lacked the ability to make the transition to playoff basketball, which is more about halfcourt offense, rebounding and defense.
Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel
Sure. But not at the cost of Andrew Bynum.
Is Carmelo Anthony an upgrade at small forward on Ron Artest? Certainly, as are many small forwards.
But the Lakers' singular advantage, perhaps even more than Kobe at this stage, is the ability to field a lengthy front line of 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 Kobe, Bynum or Gasol makes all the sense in the world, except, of course, to Denver.
The sense is that 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 Bynum-for-Anthony? The Spurs.
Photo: Carmelo Anthony. Credit: Ron Chenoy / US Presswire