Carmelo Anthony will re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Anthony, who spent more than a year out of basketball, revived his career in Portland last season and ultimately wound up becoming a key role player in their Orlando playoff push. Presumably, this contract will be one year for the veteran’s minimum just as his last deal was.
The difference for Anthony this season will be in the roster he’s signing with. The Blazers were utterly decimated by injuries when Carmelo joined the team in November. Zach Collins, Rodney Hood and Jusuf Nurkic were out. Gary Trent Jr. hadn’t yet emerged. Forward was already a problem area after the offseason losses of Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu. The Blazers signed Anthony out of need. That need doesn’t really exist anymore.
Portland found the 3-and-D forward of its dreams earlier this week when it acquired Robert Covington from the Houston Rockets. The Blazers then spent their mid-level exception on Derrick Jones Jr., another forward, and retained Hood. Suddenly Portland has one of the most crowded forward rotations in the NBA. Terry Stotts needs to find minutes for Covington, Jones, Hood, Collins, Trent and Anthony while also sprinkling in some developmental minutes for Nassir Little.
That’s not a bad problem to have right now. A condensed schedule and possible COVID-related absences will make depth a priority across the NBA this season, and now, the Blazers have it in spades. Anthony’s role may change throughout the season, but in Portland, he’s found an organization willing to embrace his playing style and cover for his flaws schematically. Two years ago, Anthony’s time in the NBA appeared over. Now? He’s found some long-overdue stability in the final years of his career.
Published: 2020-11-21 22:38:07
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