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REPORT: Carmelo Anthony to start in Blazers debut

Carmelo Anthony, Blazers

Carmelo Anthony will start in his Portland Trail Blazers debut against the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN.

Head coach Terry Stotts hinted about the possibility of Melo starting against the Pels earlier on Tuesday, though Anthony is not expected to play long minutes — reportedly only 20 minutes.

Anthony last played in the NBA with the Rockets at the beginning of the 2018-19 season before being unceremoniously benched and traded for salary dump to the Chicago Bulls, where he was waived in February of this year. Many around the league saw the 10-time All-Star as a scapegoat for much of Houston’s issues last season.

A one-time league scoring champion with the New York Knicks, Melo landed with the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to the 2017-18 season after six and half seasons in the Big Apple.

Anthony was not a fit with All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George and was traded and waived in the following summer, clearing his way to sign with Houston.

All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard was rumored to be a big force in Blazers general manager Neil Olshey signing the veteran forward, especially with Portland dealing with a slew of injuries on the wing and in the frontcourt.

Nevertheless, Melo appears to be in line to start and play in an NBA game after almost a year off.