The Portland Trail Blazers ended the long unemployment drought for former All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony. After Anthony was made inactive by the Houston Rockets just 10 games into last season and then traded, he’s since been awaiting the opportunity to return to the NBA.
Now, Melo gets his chance after signing with the Blazers on Thursday night, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported.
Considering the Blazers need depth at the forward position, Anthony could potentially have the opportunity to step in and carve out a role for himself immediately. Beyond that, it appears Blazers star Damian Lillard gave a thumbs-up when it came to the idea of signing Melo.
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Damian Lillard Approved of Carmelo Anthony Signing
Shortly after the news of Anthony’s signing with the Blazers came to light, it was revealed by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that Lillard was notified of the potential move. Per Haynes, the star guard was supportive of the decision to add the 35-year-old to the mix.
The signing itself is big news, but the fact that it has the full support of Lillard stands out and shows the level of play many believe Anthony is still capable of playing at.
Over 16 NBA seasons, the 10-time NBA All-Star has taken the court with four different teams. This includes playing 564 games over eight seasons with the Denver Nuggets, 412 games in seven seasons with the New York Knicks, 78 games with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the aforementioned 10 with the Rockets.
Carmelo Anthony’s Career by the Numbers: Stats & Accomplishments
Anthony has averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists over the span of his career while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. Arguably the best single-season of his NBA career came in 2012-13 when he was named to the All-NBA Second Team while finishing the year as the NBA scoring champion.
During his 2012-13 campaign with the Knicks, Anthony posted marks of 28.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He shot 44.9 percent from the field and led the Knicks to a 54-28 record and a trip to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The 54 wins are the most by the franchise since the 1996-97 season and they haven’t come close to that total in any season since.
Reggie Miller Loves Carmelo Anthony’s Fit With Blazers
During Thursday night’s coverage of the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks matchup on TNT, former NBA player and current analyst Reggie Miller sounded off on the Blazers signing Anthony. Not only was he happy for Melo, but he also views it as a great situation and a strong fit for both sides.
“Well number one good for him [Anthony]. It’s been a while and I’m surprised it has taken this long. I think it’s a great destination for him because right now the Blazers don’t look like the same team that went to the Western Conference Finals a year ago. They need some more scoring between [CJ] McCollum and Dame Lillard. They lost a lot of pieces with the injuries to Zach Collins, and you lose Al-Farouq Aminu and Seth Curry was on that team last year. So, this is a great destination for Carmelo.”
Even prior to the signing with the Blazers, one of Anthony’s former music acts by the name of JAG pegged them as a perfect fit for the forward.
“The Blazers would be the perfect fit for Melo, they have enough scorers right now at the guard position and potential bigs. I like the way Kanter is active in the paint and they have some other youth at the position. Melo would be that vet that could help close everything out,” said JAG.