Report: Carmelo Anthony to sign with Trail Blazers

Jason Owens
Carmelo Anthony is reportedly making his NBA return in Portland. (Brad Penner/USA Today)
Carmelo Anthony is reportedly making his NBA return in Portland. (Brad Penner/USA Today)

The Portland Trail Blazers are signing Carmelo Anthony, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Terms of the deal have not been reported, but it is a non-guaranteed contract, according to Wojnarowski.

Anthony hasn’t played in the NBA since a brief stint to start last season with the Houston Rockets. Anthony has reportedly sought a return to the league since that 10-game run with Houston ended with a trade to the Chicago Bulls, who subsequently waived him as was planned before the deal.

Teams like the New York Knicks have reportedly flirted with interest in the 35-year-old 10-time All-Star, but no deal was consummated until Portland’s reported agreement with Anthony on Thursday.

Lillard reportedly gave green light on signing

After reaching the Western Conference finals last season, the Trail Blazers are off to a disappointing 4-8 start.

All-Star guard Damian Lillard looks like an MVP candidate early in the season, averaging 28.6 points, 6.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds, but it hasn’t translated to team success.

Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports that Trail Blazers management informed Lillard it was considering signing Anthony on Wednesday and that he supports the signing.

Trail Blazers need help

Portland has a need in the frontcourt after forward Zach Collins underwent surgery earlier in November to repair damage to a dislocated left shoulder. He’s not expected to return until March at the earliest.

Wojnarowski reports that Anthony is ready to play and will join the Trail Blazers for their upcoming six-game road trip that starts Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs.

In his last full season in the NBA, Anthony averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 40.4 percent from the floor with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017-18.

A six-time All-NBA player and the 2013 scoring champion, Anthony struggled to fit in as a role player as his skills diminished later in his career. If he can successfully transition into a secondary role on a team with an established star, he can provide some much-needed frontcourt scoring in Portland.

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