After a hiatus of over a year, Carmelo Anthony is back in the NBA. The Portland Trail Blazers are going to be his new team after making attempts to add him to their roster since his days with the New York Knicks.
Now they’ll bring Carmelo on to try to help them compete in a tough Western Conference. However, Melo is reportedly signing a non-guaranteed contract with the Blazers.
What will that mean for the longtime NBA star and his team?
What is a non-guaranteed contract in the NBA?
As we reported yesterday, Carmelo is signing a non-guaranteed contract. Basically, it means the Portland Trail Blazers can keep Carmelo Anthony on their roster but will have an option to cut him.
The contract has a deadline and if Portland opts to cut Anthony before that official deadline, then the salary cap hit no longer applies to the team’s cap sheet.
That’s a pretty good deal for the Blazers, as Carmelo Anthony previously was not a good fit in his other recent landing spots. If he’s unable to help out in Portland, it gives them the option to move on in search of another key player or two for their roster.
Carmelo Anthony is heading to Portland.
It’s been over a year since he last played in a game (Nov. 8, 2018).
Anthony has the 2nd-most career points among active players, trailing only LeBron James. pic.twitter.com/mByhOQghhX
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 15, 2019
Carmelo played just 10 games for his previous team, the Houston Rockets. The Chicago Bulls waived Anthony back on Feb. 1, then it became a question mark as many fans and analysts wondered if Melo’s NBA career had ended.
Now he’ll have another shot but on the non-guaranteed contract so it’s unknown how long his time in Portland will be.
Carmelo could help struggling Blazers
It’s still early in the season, but the Trail Blazers aren’t off to the best of starts. The team holds a record of just 4-8 overall which has them sitting in the No. 13 spot out West. That’s surprising as they were amongst the top three teams last season and competed against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
Bringing in Carmelo Anthony gives the potential for a new Big Three featuring longtime Blazers’ Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
While Anthony is a 10-time All-Star, his numbers have declined a bit over the past two seasons he’s played. Per Basketball-Reference, Melo averaged 20 points or better through his 15 seasons with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets.
However, he averaged 16.2 points per game with the Thunder and then was down to 13.4 points per game in Houston.
That said, Portland has wanted Melo in a Trailer Blazers jersey for some time now and All-Star Damian Lillard has championship aspirations. The team recently lost Zach Collins to a shoulder injury, creating a spot they needed to fill and Anthony should do just that.
The Trail Blazers’ forwards currently rank amongst or at the bottom of the league’s teams for points per game, assists, and field goal percentage. Melo can contribute if his skills are still there.
Anthony claims he’s remained in the gym, continually working on his game during his time away from the NBA.
Anthony is 35-years-old, so he’s not anywhere near done in terms of Vince Carter years. Now it’s time to see if the time he’s spent in the gym will help him bring what Portland lacks on their roster or if this could be another quick stint.