Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter
Smith mentioned that James, who opted out and became a free agent on Tuesday, would consider the Lakers along with Miami, Cleveland and the Clippers. The Heat are thought to be the favorite to bring King James back for another run at a title.
Chicago is considered the biggest threat to pry Anthony away from the Knicks, while Houston, Dallas and the Clippers have also been linked to the star forward.
The Lakers can add two max contracts because they have just two significant players under contract next year: Bryant at nearly $24 million and Steve Nash at $9.7 million. (Nash would have to be moved to add two max contracts.)
Bryant joked in January during an appearance at Madison Square Garden that “everybody wants to play in L.A.”
“Well, I mean everybody wants to play in Los Angeles,” Bryant said. “New York’s a beautiful place, don’t get me wrong but it’s colder than s*** out here.”
“It’s palm trees and beaches, obviously are a little more appealing.”
Bryant, who is friendly with Anthony and teamed with him on the 2012 Olympic team that won the gold in London, said he’d be happy to offer “advice” when the time comes.
“If he wants to come for advice later as a friend I’ll be more than happy to give it to him,” said Bryant.
Meantime, Windhorst floated the scenario of the Lakers making a run at hiring Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and uniting him with James and Anthony, both of whom he has coached on Team USA.
“I love LeBron,” Coach K said Tuesday during an interview with Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio. “LeBron and I are very close. And I trust him and I want him on any team that I would ever coach and he’d be a star and the ultimate team player. I think he just wants to win and he wants to represent a franchise in a really good way.
“I love Melo, too. I’ve been with Melo a number of years and he’s been a winner for us and a warrior.”
Still, Coach K also said he loves Duke and is happy coaching there near friends and family, including his nine grandchildren.
“Could I make more money [in the NBA]?” Coach K, who is entering his 40th season as a head coach, asked rhetorically. “Yes, I could make more money. But I love Duke. I love being at Duke. I think love being at Duke more than I love being in college.”