Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Headlines & Global News

LA Lakers Rumors: Kobe Bryant Open To Giving Carmelo Anthony Free Agency Advice, Knicks Star Eying Bulls In 2014

By Jordan Webb j.webb@hngn.com | Jan 27, 2014 04:07 PM EST

Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony
L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant reportedly already contacted Carmelo Anthony (R) and LeBron James about the idea of teaming up in Los Angeles. (Photo : Reuters)

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is "more than happy" to give New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony advice about the latter's impending free agency.  Although the Lakers are considered to be a suitor for Anthony, the All-Star forward is reportedly interested in signing with the Chicago Bulls.

Anthony announced in October he plans to opt out of his contract after the season and explore the free agency market.  The Lakers, with the cap room to sign Anthony, are expected to try and woo the New York native to Hollywood.  Bryant stopped short of saying he'd pitch the Lakers to Anthony, but the future Hall of Famer did say he's willing to give Anthony advice if asked.

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"Well, everybody wants to play in Los Angeles.  I mean, New York is a beautiful place, don't get me wrong, but it is colder than s--- out here," Bryant said on Sunday, via the New York Daily News.  "You know, palm trees and beaches obviously are a little more appealing.

"All jokes aside, I think that players when that time comes will have to make the best decision for them and their families.  I try not to think about it too much.  If he wants to call me for advice later as a friend, I will be more than happy to give it to him."

While Bryant is open to sharing the perks of playing in L.A. if asked, Anthony reportedly has another destination in mind: Chicago.

"The losing, the decaying roster, has inspired 'Melo to consider closely the possibilities of free agency this summer," Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote on Saturday.  "Within the past several weeks, a longtime confidant of Carmelo Anthony confesses, something changed.  Never did he believe there was a chance Anthony would leave the New York Knicks - never the Madison Square Garden stage, never the $129 million contract extension.

"Only now, the gloom of the Knicks' season - the uncertainty of the franchise's future - left that man to believe it's possible Anthony could leave New York in free agency.

"'Chicago is much more in play for him than L.A.,' the source said."

Wojnarowski added, "The Bulls traded Luol Deng for draft picks and are leaning strongly toward using the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer.  They could create a maximum contract slot for Anthony, pairing him with Derrick Rose."

Anthony, at the beginning of the season, was expected to opt out of his contract in July and re-sign with New York for a more lucrative deal.  After the Knicks' 17-27 start to the season, however, Anthony may choose a more championship-ready team to sign with.

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