Rumor: Carmelo Anthony will only return to Blazers in certain situation
Back in November 2019, the Portland Trail Blazers decided to take a chance on then-free agent Carmelo Anthony and picked him up on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal. A year removed from his last NBA game, the 10-time All-Star moved into the Blazers’ rotation as the third scoring option behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
The Blazers signed Anthony in the wake of Zach Collins’ long-term shoulder injury, and then Rodney Hood suffered a torn Achilles in December. Melo got even more responsibility when Trevor Ariza opted out of the NBA restart in Orlando.
Anthony heeded to the adjustments needed from him and emerged as a major contributor during the Blazers’ pursuit of the 8-seed. Portland’s Cinderella story ended when they faced the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in a first-round series, which ended with a 4-1 outcome.
After being eliminated, Anthony said he thinks he has found a home in Portland, which seemed to signal a definite return to Portland. However, will he still think the same way if he’s asked to take a lesser role?
The Athletic’s Jason Quick isn’t so sure:
The only way I can see Carmelo Anthony returning to Portland is if he has some kind of revelation that he is now a role player. And I can’t imagine that happening.
Quick concluded his take like so:
In the meantime, I think Anthony searches for another team where he can play big minutes. If there are no suitors, he knows he can trust his experience with Olshey and the Blazers and listen to their pitch.
The 2021 NBA season will be different for the Blazers with the looming return of Hood, Collins, and Ariza back into the mix of things. Their comebacks would most likely limit Anthony’s productivity and relegate him to a lesser role, one that he may not accept.
With the organization firmly establishing its goal of becoming a contender, they would need to come up with a decision to either continue giving Anthony a major role in the team or give their other guys more confidence and playing time instead.
In the meantime, the 36-year-old veteran can scour the market and see if there are any other opportunities out there. If not, Carmelo Anthony could still return to Portland.