Carmelo Anthony to Start at Power Forward for Thunder, Says Billy Donovan

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2017

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony waits for an interview to begin during an NBA basketball media day in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said Tuesday that newly acquired Carmelo Anthony will start at power forward for the 2017-18 NBA season, according to ESPN.com's Royce Young.

OKC acquired Melo from the New York Knicks on Saturday in exchange for center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and the Chicago Bulls' 2018 second-round draft pick.

The 33-year-old Anthony is a 10-time All-Star who has spent the majority of his NBA career at small forward.

Melo does have some experience at power forward, though, most notably as a key cog in three gold-medal-winning teams at the Summer Olympics in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The move to power forward is necessitated by the presence of former Indiana Pacers star Paul George, who the Thunder also acquired in an offseason trade.

George is a more natural two-way small forward than Melo, and Oklahoma City didn't have an ideal option at power forward prior to Anthony's arrival.

Melo is coming off a season that saw him average 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game at small forward for a Knicks team that had Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez holding down the frontcourt.

Anthony's arrival gives the Thunder a true Big Three alongside George and Russell Westbrook, and it may make them the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.