Carmelo Anthony has long been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, and the recent trade involving Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac to the Clippers may have just opened the door for that to happen.

The Lakers gave up Beasley and Zubac to the Clips for Mike Muscala in what many perceive as a deal to open a roster spot. As mentioned in the previous post, the only way the Lakers would accommodate the 34-year-old scoring forward is if a roster spot opens. Following that NBA trade, there is now a roster spot open.

Dissecting the deal further, the sacrificial lamb was actually Beasley. While Zubac did post career numbers, the attention now shifts to Muscala who lasted only one game with the Clippers. The 27-year-old forward was part of the Clippers-Sixers deal involving Tobias Harris before being dealt to the Lakers.

In Philly, the 44th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft averaged 7.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in 47 games. Those numbers hardly differ from Zubac who averaged career-highs of 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in 33 contests, ESPN reported.

By logic, the roster spot available would be for a forward. And as USA Today pointed out, this clearly hints that Melo will be a Laker soon. This should be welcome news to LeBron James, Anthony's close friend. It also addresses the firepower LA needs as they focus on beefing up their wings.

With the Lakers failing to strike a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony is turning out to be a consolation prize. At the rate they are going, the Lakers are not expected to win the NBA title although the landscape could change in the offseason.

Once the 2018-19 NBA season is over, the Lakers are likely to make another go at Davis. As for Anthony, it all depends if he is able to make a difference with the Lakers if ever he does sign up. James will play an important role in making sure that happens, probably the only person that can help Melo revive his NBA career at this point.

Anthony is not exactly getting good graces right now and his career in limbo. If signed, he will be out to prove critics that he still has game. Should things go well, the final missing piece may be all the purple and gold would need -- someone named Anthony Davis in the frenzied free agent market in July.