LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have been long-time friends off the court, and contemporaries in the NBA ever since they were selected first and third overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. Now, for the first time in a non-Olympic or All-Star Game environment, Anthony and James will officially be NBA teammates.

After two relatively successful seasons with the Portland Trailblazers, Anthony takes his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal. Though Anthony started in all 58 of his appearances in his first season with Portland, the veteran played almost exclusively off the bench during the 2020-21 NBA season. But Anthony excelled a sixth-man role, and could be expected to take on a similar one in Los Angeles. Anthony averaged 13.4 points per game last season, down just 2.0 points from 2019-20 despite playing 8.3 minutes less per game. Anthony shot 42% from the field and a career-high 41% from three-point range last season. In other words, even with less time on the court (24.5 minutes per game,) Anthony maximized his impact.

Anthony is reunited with Russell Westbrook, as the two players shared spots in the starting lineup of the 2017-18 Oklahoma City Thunder. Anthony hasn’t made the All-Star game since 2016-17 with the New York Knicks, and realistically won’t be selected as an All-Star again this late in his career. Still, the Lakers add a ten-time All-Star, a one-time league leader in scoring, and almost assuredly, a future Hall of Famer to their roster.

LeBron James. Anthony Davis. Russell Westbrook. Dwight Howard. And now, Carmelo Anthony. While not every player is in their prime, the Lakers are assembling a star-studded roster with loads of experience playing in the NBA at a high level. There are still more pieces left to fall, and some time before we see these players on the court together. But the Lakers seem to be building something special.

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