The Portland Trail Blazers are signing Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed contract. The hope appears to be that Anthony can provide some depth at the forward position and possibly help take some pressure off of Damian Lillard.
Anthony was an unsigned free agent who had been working hard to keep in shape. The former All-Star and NCAA champion at Syracuse has made it very public that he wanted to sign with a team this season.
Now, Anthony joins a team that works with a lot of isolation plays on offense. That’s something that he was really good at in prior seasons with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. But how much does he have left in that 35-year-old body?
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
As the graphic above indicates, Anthony hasn’t played in an NBA game since November 8, 2018. He also retakes his position of having the second-most points of any active player in the league (behind LeBron James).
Some analysts and fans are already stating that this is an act of desperation by the Blazers. They might be right. The Blazers have started out the NBA season with a 4-8 record and they are floundering a bit in the Western Conference.
Injuries have hurt the Blazers quite a bit. They are still waiting for Jusuf Nurkić to return from surgery. The roster is also without Pau Gasol and Zach Collins, who are dealing with injuries of their own.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) November 15, 2019
If Anthony can find early success once he gets back on the court for the Blazers, it could give him a great shot at resurging his career in the league. This is almost a prove-it contract for him, with only a small risk being taken by the Blazers.
The lack of output from the forward position may have been what is holding the Blazers back. They rank among the worst teams in the league when it comes to points, assists, and field goal percentage. If Anthony can turn that around, Blazers fans will fall in love right away.