Report: Carmelo Anthony Finalizing 1-Year Contract to Re-Sign with Trail Blazers

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2020

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 04: Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers is all smiles during the second half of the game against the Washington Wizards at the Moda Center on March 04, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. The Portland Trail Blazers topped the Washington Wizards, 125-105. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers are finalizing a 1-year deal to re-sign 10-time All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Charania also provided some context behind Anthony's decision.

"Anthony wanted to show loyalty to the Trail Blazers, who gave him his opportunity to return to the NBA last season," Charania tweeted.

"He understands what to expect in Portland, where he will play a key role on a potential contender."

Melo is no longer the dominant offensive force he was while winning the NBA scoring title as a member of the New York Knicks during the 2012-13 season. His stint with the Trail Blazers showed he's starting to become more comfortable in a secondary role, though.

The 36-year-old Syracuse product didn't sign with Portland until mid-November, a month into the 2019-20 regular season, but he was a quick study. He averaged 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists across 58 games while shooting 38.5 percent on threes, his best mark since the 2013-14 campaign.

Anthony's run with the Blazers followed unsuccessful stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets that raised questions about whether he could make that transition from go-to scorer to complementary weapon. Then he found a comfort zone alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

In March, the former Knicks and Denver Nuggets star told the Pull Up podcast (h/t Casey Holdahl of the Blazers' official website) his time in Portland helped him in ways that transcended the basketball court:

"I think the biggest part of it was I had to be right mentally, I had to be right emotionally and spiritually. What I always tell people now is Portland came at a pivotal time in my life and my career. I needed Portland at this point in time, what I was looking for as far as on the court and off the court. I needed it, I needed the serenity of being in Portland, I need the space, I needed this me time to figure out me at the end of the day and to get my mind right and to focus on my body and emotionally. I really needed Portland.

"As much as they needed me from a basketball standpoint, I needed Portland for other reasons. I always say 'God don't make no mistakes' and this came at a pivotal time for me and I'm taking advantage of it. And as you can see, it shows, right? I'm not talking from a basketball standpoint, it's just the happiness and just being here and just being around the guys and being able to love the game again and travel and talk and give my experience and give my knowledge to people. That's what's most important to me at this point."

It set the stage for Anthony to write a more fitting end to his Hall of Fame career.

Clearly, joining the Blazers had a positive impact on the Syracuse product, and his ability to attract some defensive attention away from the team's star guard tandem provided a boost at that end of the floor. His defense is still poor and his shot selection needs work, but he started to find a niche.

In turn, it doesn't come as a surprise the sides were able to work out a new contract. Anthony figures to occupy pretty much the same role during the 2020-21 campaign.