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Lakers and Bryant to Meet With Anthony on Thursday

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered through one of the worst seasons in franchise history in 2013-14. The Lakers won just 25 games thanks to injuries to key players including Kobe Bryant.

On Tuesday, the free agent market opened, and the Pacific division Lakers started their quest to sign an elite free agent(s) who could help Bryant return the team to greatness.

Kobe flew back to Los Angeles from a vacation in Europe on Wednesday in order to take part in the Lakers pitch to Carmelo Anthony the talented scoring forward. The team meets with Anthony on Tuesday in an attempt to lure him away from the New York Knicks and into a purple and gold uniform.

Bryant is known to have a friendship and long history with Anthony. The Lakers veteran has courted Anthony for a period of time. However, a source said Bryant felt it was key he return to be with the Lakers when they attempt to get Anthony to sign on the dotted line.

Los Angeles has two main focuses during the free agent period – Anthony and LeBron James. The team has yet to hire a new head coach, preferring to hire one once the team knows who will be playing for them next season.

It is unknown when or if the Lakers will meet with James and his agent Rich Paul. It is believed that James has not granted any formal meetings as of yet with other teams.

Anthony is not a consolation prize in the minds of the Lakers. Sources close to the Lakers said the team loves his game and believes he can be a huge complement to Bryant on the court.

Los Angeles hopes to pair Bryant and Anthony with Pau Gasol who is currently a free agent as well, but many expect he will re-sign with the Lakers.

Nevertheless, one sports media outlet reported on Wednesday that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant the dynamic duo for the Oklahoma City Thunders made a huge pitch to Gasol with Oklahoma City as a possible frontrunner in signing the talented veteran Spaniard.

Gasol is expected to have a meeting with the Chicago Bulls, as well sometime Thursday, somewhere in Los Angeles.

However, Los Angeles can give Gasol more pay than any other club can, he loves playing for the Lakers and with Bryant.

Sources said if Los Angeles can sign Anthony, then Gasol would be more inclined to remain a Laker.

The Lakers reportedly earned profits in excess of $100 million last season even after paying luxury taxes and fees for revenue sharing thanks to lucrative radio and television contracts.

The $158 million profit by the Lakers for last season, prior to revenue sharing and luxury taxes, was twice as much as the next highest profit by an NBA team, which was Chicago with $75 million,

Anthony has also listened this week to pitches from the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.

The Knicks will also make one last final appeal to Anthony to re-sign with the club.

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