Carmelo Anthony is back in the NBA. According to numerous reports, the Portland Trail Blazers are signing the former star to a non-guaranteed contract.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Portland is signing Carmelo Anthony, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2019
Portland is looking for a spark - any spark - after a slow start to the season. After earning the third seed a year ago, and fighting their way to the Western Conference Finals, the Blazers have started the season just 4-8, and sit in 13th place in the highly competitive West. They have the league’s 16th-best offense, and 19th-best defense, per Cleaning The Glass.
With big men Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins suffering long-term injuries, Portland has been searching for anything to help them be more competitive. And so they’re turning to Melo, a former scoring champ and 10-time All-Star.
Will he help? It seems unlikely. He hasn’t been good for a few seasons, and hasn’t played in more than a year. But who knows!
A more interesting question is whether or not the fit will work. Anthony’s single-season stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017-18 felt awkward, as he struggled to accept his role as a no-longer star alongside teammates Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Last year he signed with the Houston Rockets, seemingly accepting a role off the bench, but only lasted ten games next to MVP James Harden and close friend Chris Paul before he and the team parted ways. He didn’t catch on with any other team for the rest of the year, or over the offseason.
So it’s fair to wonder if his time with Portland will be limited. That said, Portland star Damian Lillard is on board with the signing.
Damian Lillard was notified on the potential of adding Carmelo Anthony last night and he made it clear that he’s always been supportive of bringing in the future Hall-of-Famer, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Portland searching for a boost to what has been a slow start.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 15, 2019
The Golden State Warriors - who collected a win against the Blazers earlier in the year - next play Portland on December 18. Will Anthony still be on Portland’s roster? Only time will tell.