Carmelo Anthony who last played an NBA game in November 2018, is back almost after a year hiatus.
The 35-year-old has agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi. Anthony last played for the Houston Rockets, where he averaged 13.4 points over 10 games before parting ways with the team after lack of playing time and difference in playing style.
The Blazers’ have power forward Zach Collins and center Jusuf Nurkić out for at least a few more months, and Hassan Whiteside’s addition to the team only gives them rim protection and another pick and roll partner for CJ Mccollum and Damian Lillard.
The offseason losses of Al-Farouq Aminu, Meyers Leonard, and Maurice Harkless definitely hurt the team’s depth and rotation, considering these three put up a combined average of 22 points and 15 rebounds together.
Melo, as proficient as he WAS as a scoring leader, might fit into Portland much better than he was at Houston.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni only allowed two offensive moves – three pointers or lay ups. Unfortunately, Anthony is an iso-scorer, notorious with his triple threat and pull-up from mid range.
The Blazers are horribly defensively and rely a lot on isolation basketball. Melo has earned a reputation his entire career as a player who relies too much on isolation and is a horrible defender. The former Knicks star slots right into the team considering their similar attributes.
Nevertheless, when the other options off the bench are Mario Hezonja and a 34-year-old Anthony Tolliver, Melo seems like the more attractive option, however you look at it.
Melo should have no problem with scoring opportunities on the Trailblazers, considering that if he should come off the bench to lead the second string, he would likely be the primary offensive option.
Portland is also a team that emphasizes on taking mid-range shots, evidently with Lillard and McCollum both taking elbow jumpers frequently. Here you can see Melo’s game revolves around taking mid-range shots, something that Houston did not allow him to do.
Lastly, he brings veteran advice as well as being an idol to both of the backcourt players. In September, Lillard said that he had twice recruited Anthony to join the team, after which he surmised that Carmelo “.”
“I tried, two years ago I tried to get ‘Melo to come to Portland, and he went to Oklahoma City,” Lillard said. “Then after that, I tried to get him to come to Portland again, and he went to Houston. So at this point…” said the four-time All Star guard.
As a team who were in last year’s Western conference finals, signing Carmelo Anthony may just put a plug into their dismal start of the season. Considering how stacked the West is this year, Melo has some large gaps to fill, and only time will tell if the desperate attempt from Portland pays off.
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