Melo returns to the NBA with the Trailblazers, ending a year of uncertainty

The announcement by Portland comes as great news for Carmelo Anthony who has spend nearly a year in free agency.

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The Portland Trailblazers have just signed Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

For many years, Carmelo Anthony had been a dominant scorer in the NBA and was known as one of the league’s best players, often compared to Lebron James. But during nearly a season of free agency, it was unclear if he would ever play again.

Melo has always had a strong regular season, but has the worst playoff win percentage in NBA history with at least 50 games played with .308%. He has only been past the first round once, and is arguably one of the best players to never win a ring. That was a big reason many kept faith that Anthony’s career wouldn’t be over yet.

Melo was the third pick in the legendary 2003 draft and made the NBA All-Rookie first team with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, and Kirk Heinrick. For the next 14 years Carmelo showed the league that he was one of the best with his scoring mentality, as he was an absolute scoring machine averaging over 20 points throughout his time with the Nuggets and Knicks. 

In 2017, the Knicks traded Melo to the Thunder to complete the big three in Oklahoma City with Russell Westbrook, and Paul George. During the 2017 campaign, Melo was not performing as expected, averaging only 16.2 points per game while shooting 40%. Many people said the reason could be from being the team’s third option on offense, and others said it’s simply because of his age. The Thunder made the playoffs, but had a disappointing series against the Jazz losing 4-2. After that season Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder decided to part ways, which then lead the Houston Rockets to grab Melo for the upcoming season. Nothing got better for Anthony as he averaged 13.4 points per game through his first 10 games with the Houston Rockets before getting cut. 

Since then, the 10-time all-star had struggled to find a team that wasinterested in him. Although there had been many speculations of him returning to the league, it didn’t look likely. The Brooklyn Nets were really considering him earlier this year, as most of the players thought he could improve the team, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.  

Carmelo Anthony is now 35 years old, which is an age where many players start to retire. Most teams aren’t looking to add 35-year-olds to their squad, especially one whose performance is inconsistent.

Now that Anthony has been signed by the Trailblazers, his future is looking a lot brighter, and his teammates are on board. Trailblazers point guard Damien Lillard knows what this means not only for the team but for Anthony himself.

“Obviously I’d like to see our early season struggles turn around,” Lillard told ESPN. “And hopefully we can be part of a great bounce-back for Melo as well.”

Image: Keith Allison

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