This move paired the 18-year veteran with his 2003 NBA Draft classmate, LeBron James.
The Lakers’ addition of Anthony comes amid a flurry of other moves seeking to supplement the roster around James and Anthony Davis.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 3, 2021
Anthony And James Unite At Last
By inking Anthony to a contract, the Lakers added the only other remaining active player from the fabled 2003 NBA Draft.
That draft class saw James selected at No. 1 overall and Anthony at No. 3 overall.
James entered as a generational talent, a high school phenom the likes of which the league had never seen.
Anthony, meanwhile, helped Syracuse University win the school’s first National Championship in his freshman year before declaring for the draft.
Anthony averaged 22.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game for Jim Boeheim’s Orangemen, but slipped to the No. 3 overall selection after the Detroit Pistons surprisingly selected Darko Miličić instead of the versatile scorer.
The two became frontline players in the NBA immediately, with Anthony leading the Denver Nuggets to the playoffs in his first season and James narrowly missing the postseason with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They also squared off in an intense race for Rookie of the Year.
Anthony averaged 22.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game as a rookie, while James posted 21.9 points, 5.5 boards, and 5.9 assists.
Anthony was the better shooter of the two, but James was more well-rounded.
James ultimately won the Rookie of the Year award and Anthony finished second in the voting.
Joining with Anthony at this stage means James will have played with three of the other four top-5 picks from the 2003 NBA Draft.
According to Elias Sports, James and Anthony will be just the second pair of 25,000-point scorers to play together in NBA history.
The two were previously teammates as part of Team USA, but never in the NBA.
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony first met when they played each other in high school — and remained close friends ever since.
They will enter their 19th season on the Lakers as NBA teammates for the first time. pic.twitter.com/FR9ax917jk
— Boardroom (@boardroom) August 3, 2021
Anthony Will Help The Lakers
Although entering his 19th season in the NBA, Anthony should provide the Lakers with a much-needed scoring punch off the bench.
After bouncing around the league following his All-Star run with the New York Knicks, Anthony reinvented himself as a bench scorer with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Last season, Anthony averaged 13.4 points per game in 24.5 minutes per game.
He shot a career-best 40.9 percent from three-point land.
With all of the scoring pressure squarely on the shoulders of James and Davis over the last few seasons, Anthony provides L.A. with a necessary scoring supplement.
Last season, Anthony produced 1.046 points per possession on 173 isolation plays.
Although a 10-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA selection, Anthony’s postseason resume remains blank.
In 13 career playoff appearances, Anthony made the conference finals just once.
Anthony’s addition isn’t the only one in L.A., though.
While this roster remains one of the oldest in league history, it stands as Anthony’s best chance at an NBA championship.