The Los Angeles Lakers and veteran free agent forward Carmelo Anthony are reportedly "pausing talks" on contract negotiations unless the struggling Lakers can improve their playoff chances, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Woj reports that the Lakers had been "leaning toward signing Anthony for the rest of the season," but the move now seems uneccesary given the current state of the team.

Los Angeles has dropped four of their last five games, including losses to the Pelicans, Grizzlies and Suns. Heading into Monday night's pivotal matchup against the Clippers, the Lakers are sitting at 30-33 for the season, which is 4.5 games back of the eighth seeded San Antonio Spurs.

According to ESPN's Basketball Power Index, the Lakers now have just a 0.9% chance to make the playoffs.

Melo, 34, was waived by the Chicago Bulls on February 1, paving the way for the 10-time All Star to sign with a playoff contender of his choosing. However, nothing has materialized since then despite the numerous Lakers rumors.

Anthony has not played since November 8 after the Houston Rockets announced that they'd be going in a different direction. In 10 games with the Rockets this season, Melo averaged a pedestrian 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in a career-low 29.4 minutes per night.