Inside The Trail Blazers’ Signing Of Carmelo Anthony

The Trail Blazers have been interested in Carmelo Anthony for years and both parties reached the point where they needed each other, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who provides an inside look at the events that led to this week’s signing.

Portland general manager Neil Olshey conveyed that sentiment during a phone call with Anthony, Woj relays. The 10-time All-Star had been out of the league for a year and hadn’t gotten offers from any other teams. The Blazers are severely shorthanded in the frontcourt and needed to find someone who can contribute right away.

Portland’s 5-8 start can be at least partially attributed to the losses of Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins and Pau Gasol. Nurkic is still recovering after fracturing his leg late last season. Collins recently had shoulder surgery and isn’t expected back until March. Gasol, an offseason addition, is rehabilitating a stress fracture in his left foot that he suffered in the spring.

Olshey sees Anthony as someone who can provide scoring punch and command respect in the locker room. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have been proponents of adding Anthony, and McCollum worked out with him in New York over the summer. Olshey took the recommendations to heart and remained in touch with Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports. The GM was interested in adding Anthony, but only if he had regular playing time to offer.

Talks got more serious this week as the need for another front court scorer became obvious. Olshey discussed the topic frequently with coach Terry Stotts and it was agreed that a non-guaranteed contract was the best option. Anthony will have a chance to prove his worth before contracts throughout the league become fully guaranteed in early January.

Wojnarowski notes that Anthony has contributed to his time as an outcast. He still viewed himself as a star when he was traded to the Thunder two years ago and wasn’t willing to accept the role that management asked. In Houston last year, a tense history with coach Mike D’Antoni prompted the Rockets to cut ties after a slow start.

Anthony may be looking at his last chance in Portland, but at least it’s off to a positive start. Olshey has a long history with Anthony and was encouraged by what he heard during their phone call, which was that Anthony still cares about winning and isn’t just looking for an NBA farewell tour. Sources tell Wojnarowski that Anthony had a physical today and could be playing by Tuesday, so we should know soon how much he has left to offer.

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14 thoughts on “Inside The Trail Blazers’ Signing Of Carmelo Anthony

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    The Blazers don’t want him to play in Houston on Monday so they’re waiting until Tuesday so he can play against a team like the Pelicans who play about as much (or as little) defense as Melo does.

  2. spinach

    He most likely will not look good not having played in so long. Hopefully they give him a few weeks to get his legs.

  3. Skip, Tampa

    If they are going to trade Little, Simmons then they can add in Whiteside and go after Love. Then Love and Melo could start until Nurkic returns. Sure makes alot more sense than Griffin. Plus the Cavs would probably buy into this deal as well. Oh yes, the cap works out for both teams.

  4. yoyo137

    It’s been a tough year for the Blazers with injuries, but Gasol is getting healthy and they avoided serious injury to Whiteside and Hood. Skal Labissiere has been playing well though, and with the addition of Melo this team can definitely stay in playoff contention. Once they get Gasol, Nurkic, and Collins back, this is a team that’s just as, if not deeper than the team that made the WCF last year (and made it riding on their depth). Assuming they trade Bazemore and/or Whiteside, they own all their future first round picks so they can go all in on a deal for a Blake Griffin/Kevin Love. They may have to give up Nassir Little but a team entering the playoffs with Lillard, McCollum, Simons, Hood, Melo, Griffin/Love, Collins, Nurkic, Gasol would be insane.

  5. x%sure

    Aminu & Harkless have taken their time adjusting to new teams, as have Olshey’s replacement forwards. Melo should get some adjustment time too. He does not have to be anything close to their best player but he has blown it before in similiar situations.

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