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LeBron James vs. Carmelo Anthony: Who’s a Better Fit for the Los Angeles Lakers?

L.A. could be a popular destination in 2014.

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LeBron James vs. Carmelo Anthony: Who’s a Better Fit for the Los Angeles Lakers?
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Although the 2013 offseason is currently upon us, it seems like everyone is looking forward to 2014. Following the 2013-14 NBA season, two of the biggest basketball stars in the world, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, are expected to opt out of their contracts and become free agents.

The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be tanking the upcoming season for a higher lottery pick to go along with a ton of free cash that the team should have available for next year’s offseason. Considering the Lakers have never shied away from basketball’s biggest stars, it’s no surprise most people expect them to go after at least one of the aforementioned superstars.

Which star would make a better fit in Los Angeles? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each player in Los Angeles.

LeBron James

Pros:

James is undoubtedly the best basketball player in the world today. He’s capable of making a basket from almost anywhere on the court; he’s an exceptional defender and a natural leader.

With James in the lineup, the Lakers wouldn’t have to rely on their older players as much in the regular season which would hopefully leave them with more left in the tank during the playoffs.

Cons:

James isn’t believed to be a big fan of the Los Angeles lifestyle. If he wouldn’t fully embrace the locals, it could have a negative impact on his basketball performance. He would need to love L.A. to succeed in L.A.

There are also questions regarding James’ relationship with Kobe Bryant. The two have had moments of high-intensity competitiveness during All-Star games in the past. If Bryant remains a Laker beyond the 2013-14 NBA season, he would have to accept a lesser role which allows James to shine. As of right now, he has not shown the willingness to play second fiddle to anyone.

Carmelo Anthony

Pros:

Unlike LeBron James, Anthony is believed to love the Los Angeles lifestyle. He has no problem with being the center of attention and he welcomes the media publicity. Chances are, if he can deal with the fans and media in New York with the Knicks, he would have an easy transition to Los Angeles.

Cons:

Anthony is a player who has a hard time finding chemistry with his teammates. When the Knicks paired him with Amar’e Stoudemire, they imagined the two becoming one of the NBA’s top duos. Turns out, they both play better when they’re on the hardwood at separate times. The Lakers would have to be very careful to surround him with players he has chemistry with.

Risks of a Super Team

It’s worth noting both James and Anthony have stated in the past that they would love to play together. It would appear as if the Lakers will have the funds to sign both superstars, but will they?

As intriguing as the combination of James, Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash would be, it could also be very risky for a few reasons:

1: Bryant would have to be willing to accept a lesser role. Even if he says he will, nobody can be sure until it actually happens.

2: Nash has to stay healthy. He would play an integral role if this super team is ever formed. It would be his job to keep everyone happy by distributing the ball to the open man regardless of their stature with the team.

3: Anthony would have to learn how to play with his new teammates. It’s very hard to predict who he will and won’t click with.

4: Since James is recognized as the greatest basketball player on the planet, why should he share the spotlight? That’s the big question he will have to ask himself before joining another super team.

A Story Still Unwritten

Whether or not either Anthony or James flirt with the idea of Los Angeles depends a lot on how the 2013-13 NBA season plays out. If Anthony wins a championship with the Knicks, it would be hard to imagine him leaving New York. If the Lakers get a high lottery pick and draft either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, that would likely have a big impact on what they decide to do in the offseason via free agency.

One thing’s for sure: the 2014 offseason will see plenty of action.

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