After a tumultuous offseason last year, Carmelo Anthony has already found a place to play next season.
The 36-year-old forward will return to the Portland Trail Blazers on a one-year deal. Anthony played a crucial role in the Western Conference organization on their way to another playoff appearance in 2020. Portland got through the play-in game of last year’s bubble playoffs but quickly got dismissed by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. Still, Anthony played an important role all season long, providing the team with a solid scoring contribution.
The announcement of his return delighted Blazers fans, but also the organization’s other players, including CJ McCollum. The Portland guard took to Twitter to express his excitement about Anthony’s new deal.
Myyyyy 🐕 https://t.co/svhpe9yaVc
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) November 21, 2020
Clearly someone likes having Melo around.
Bringing a veteran like Anthony back looks to be a good move for Portland head coach Terry Stotts. In 58 games last year, Anthony averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game. He clearly showed that he can still compete at the highest level and the Blazers rewarded him as such.
Portland has made a handful of other moves during the early stages of free agency this offseason. Earlier in the weekend, the team brought on Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. for the mid-level exception and re-signed Rodney Hood to a two-year deal. The Blazers also unloaded Mario Hezonja in a three-team trade to acquire Enes Kanter. The former Celtics center returns to Portland to provide depth in the team’s frontcourt.
However, the Blazers’ window to contend in the West seems to be closing. Although Damian Lillard and McCollum lead one of the league’s most talented backcourts, Portland will have to play teams like the Lakers, Clippers and Nuggets, all of which seem deeper at this point.
In the Trail Blazers eyes, signing Anthony helps them on their way.