All the speculation and rumors floating around the NBA right now surround the immediate futures of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Although Carmelo and LeBron have dominated the headlines, many other players have yet to sign and Kobe Bryant appears to be doing his best to lure them to the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times on July 7, Kobe has been recruiting for former Lakers Steve Blake and Caron Butler to come back to Los Angeles:
If Lakers do get Melo – and Pau – speculatively I could see Steve Blake and Caron Butler back with team – I hear Kobe recruiting both.
The Lakers brass is currently doing everything within their power to bring in Carmelo. Mitch Kupchak and company gave Carmelo their best pitch to the free agent superstar last week in an effort to get him to come to Los Angeles.
Before Carmelo met with teams interested in his services, the consensus was that the New York Knicks had the edge in signing the superstar. The perennial All-Star has reportedly been offered a max deal from the Knicks at $129 million over the next five years, but the Lakers’ pitch may have been impressive enough to convince Carmelo that Los Angeles is the place to be.
If Carmelo ultimately chooses Los Angeles, the other free-agent dominos will start to fall with Blake and Butler potentially being options for the Lakers. Blake may be the more realistic option as he’ll likely come at a discount while Butler could receive more interest on the free agent market.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin confirmed the Lakers’ interest in Blake:
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has also reached out to representatives for former PG Steve Blake, according to a league source.
With Jordan Farmar recently agreeing to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers will likely have Steve Nash, Kendall Marshall and rookie Jordan Clarkson on the roster for next season. A lot can happen between now and then with Nash potentially waived using the stretch provision, Clarkson not making the team and Marshall possibly not retained, but these three will more than likely be the three point guards on the roster once the 2014-15 NBA season gets underway.
As for Butler, the former Laker is receiving some interest around the league from perennial title contenders Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. Both teams will likely be strong suitors for Butler with the allure of playing for a legitimate contenders, but heading back to Los Angeles to play alongside his close friend Kobe might appeal to the veteran.