Carmelo Anthony is now a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, finally bringing the former league scoring champ back to the NBA as the Blazers seek any kind of help for what has become a dire situation on the wing.
How much Melo is able to contribute and play is yet to be seen, and one would expect him to be eased into action for the Blazers early on. Still, his signing excited many around the league if for no other reason than him getting one more chance to try and rewrite the close to his career, given how things went down in Houston. The Blazers hope he can add a much needed scoring punch to their frontcourt rotation, which has struggled to give enough help to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to start the year.
Anthony has been a player some have floated as a possible target for Portland on the free agent market for some time, but until now we’d never known how serious either side was about joining forces. Anthony posted a short video on his YouTube channel late on Monday that explained why he agreed to sign with the Blazers and how it all happened, noting that he’s had his eye on Portland for some time and has spoken off and on with Lillard for “a couple of years” about potentially joining the Blazers.
Lillard and McCollum both stumped for Anthony to join the Blazers during the summer of 2017, with Anthony being dealt from the Knicks to the Thunder instead. Apparently they’ve stayed in touch, as Anthony notes McCollum is a regular in his New York summer pickup games, and now they finally will be on the same team.
The question, of course, is whether this will be a more successful late career move for Anthony than his stints in Oklahoma City and Houston. Anthony sort of brushes by that question in the video, noting “the past is the past” but does say he learned from those experiences. We’ll see just how much and how willing he is to adapt to the role Portland will ask him to play, but he does say the only way he’d sign with a team was if they were all on the same page.