The Trail Blazers have officially signed Carmelo Anthony to his one-year, non-guaranteed, minimum-salary contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who notes that Anthony passed his physical and will wear No. 00 in Portland (Twitter links).
“Carmelo is an established star in this league that will provide a respected presence in our locker room and a skill set at a position of need on the floor,” Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said in a statement formally announcing the signing.
Anthony and the Blazers first reached an agreement last Thursday, but took several days to finalize the deal as the veteran forward took his physical and targeted Tuesday for his potential Portland debut. The Blazers will play in New Orleans tonight before finishing their road trip with stops in Milwaukee (Thursday), Cleveland (Saturday), and Chicago (next Monday).
Anthony, who hasn’t played in an NBA game in over a year, will look to help turn things around for the 5-9 Blazers, who currently rank 12th in the Western Conference after being blown out by the Rockets, Carmelo’s old team, on Monday night. While there’s skepticism that the 35-year-old will help improve Portland’s ailing defense, he can at least give the club some frontcourt scoring, which new forwards like Kent Bazemore, Mario Hezonja, and Anthony Tolliver have struggled to consistently provide.
Because four weeks of the NBA regular season have already passed, Anthony will earn a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum. If he remains under contract through January 7 and has his salary for 2019/20 fully guaranteed, he’ll earn a total of $2,159,029. His cap hit on Portland’s books will be $1,364,204, though he’ll ultimately cost the team more than that due to added tax penalties.
No corresponding roster move was necessary for the Blazers, since they’d been carrying just 14 players on standard contracts, one below the NBA’s maximum.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.