When Carmelo Anthony makes his debut with the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, he’ll take the floor immediately – as a member of the team’s starting five. It was eye-opening news which The Undefeated Senior Writer Marc J. Spears first reported.
Anthony’s return to basketball comes against the New Orleans Pelicans, and he’s expected to start while playing around 20 minutes.
Carmelo officially signed with the Blazers this morning, per Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian. As Woj previously reported last week it is a non-guaranteed contract and earlier today ESPN’s Bobby Marks revealed Anthony will have a base comp of $2,159,029 ($14,490 per day). The Trail Blazers will have a cap hit of $1,364,204 and Anthony’s contract will become fully guaranteed if he is still on the team on January 7.
“Carmelo is an established star in this league that will provide a respected presence in our locker room and a skill set at a position of need on the floor,” said Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey in a statement.
Portland Trail Blazers Roster & Starting Lineup With Carmelo Anthony
*Notates expected starter
C: Hassan Whiteside*
PF: Carmelo Anthony*, Skal Labissiere, Anthony Tolliver
SF: Nassir Little*, Kent Bazemore, Mario Hezonja
SG: Rodney Hood*, Gary Trent Jr.
PG: CJ McCollum*, Anfernee Simons
It’s worth noting that Damian Lillard will miss Tuesday’s game due to back spasms, per the NBA, which will likely lead to McCollum sliding into a starting role. Typically, this would wind up benefitting Anthony’s chances at seeing extended minutes, but the plan appears set to bring him along slowly.
The Blazers are already incredibly thin heading into this game, and their lack of front-court depth was believed to be a big reason for the signing of Anthony in the first place. Along with Lillard’s absence on Tuesday, Portland will still be without Jusuf Nurkic, Pau Gasol and Zach Collins.
Carmelo’s Former Teammate Kristaps Porzingis on his Season Debut
Last night after the Dallas Mavericks’ seven-point win over the San Antonio Spurs (117-110), Kristaps Porzingis sounded off on Melo making his debut against the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Yeah, I can’t wait to watch him play,” said Porzingis. “It has been a while, and I’m sure he is not taking this opportunity for granted. He has been working on his game and staying fit for an opportunity like this. So, I’m happy for him.”
Back on October 13, 2019, Porzingis revealed he had been watching the videos on social media of Melo.
“Melo [Carmelo Anthony] looks great physically in the videos on social media and obviously one of the best offensive players of all time. So he is going to score the ball no matter what, but different situations are going on, and he wants to be in a certain place where he could win. Also, finish his career how he would like to; it’s hard to say. But I would love to see Melo on a team definitely,” Porzingis told Fanatics View.