The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to the future in an attempt to rebuild the team and may have their sights set on potential 2014 free-agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, according to ESPN.
The Lakers have indicated that they want to be in position to make an offer to one or both after next season, team sources told ESPN. They called the wing-ranging possibilities of landing either superstar both realistic and far-fetched.
A number of other attractive players could become available after next season. The list includes Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Andrew Bogut and Dirk Nowitzki.
ESPN sources said James has yet to entertain thoughts about his plans beyond next season in Miami. The Heat will be coming off their second straight NBA championship.
"It's all wishful thinking at this point," a league source told ESPN. "Teams are doing more wishing than LeBron is wanting right now. It's not about where LeBron wants to go. He already has two rings. If LeBron moved to Reno, teams would come to him."
Anthony has an early termination option after next season in his contract with the Knicks. He could seek an extension or opt to become a free agent.
The Lakers were left with a void when center Dwight Howard decided not to return to the team and instead sign with the Houston Rockets. There also is uncertainty with Kobe Bryant's recovery from an Achilles' tendon rupture and the health of veteran point guard Steve Nash.
Bryant has said he wants to play two to three more seasons and would help recruit star players to L.A. He will be the highest-paid player in the NBA next season at $30.5 million but appears willing to rework his deal to allow the Lakers enough cap room to bring in top talent. -