Should the Portland Trail Blazers keep Carmelo Anthony for at least another season? Seeing how much he has contributed to the Blazers in the 2019-20 campaign, it would actually make sense for the team to keep the 10-time All-Star.
After struggling in the first four games of their series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony came up huge with an epic Game 5 performance last Sunday. Melo dropped 27 points in an efficient 9-of-16 shooting clip, converting three of his four 3-point attempts and even added seven boards.
Anthony and CJ McCollum both stepped up big time for the Blazers in the absence of Damian Lillard, who left the bubble to address a knee issue. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough after the Lakers booted them out of the series in Game 5.
On his 17th season in the league, Anthony managed to put up decent numbers for the Blazers and was a key part of this year’s squad which managed to claw their way to the postseason. Sadly, Melo’s 12th postseason trip ended with yet another first-round exit.
The 10-time All-Star joined the Blazers in November and has then started all of his 58 games in Portland. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game — not a bad stat line for a 36-year-old. Given that all the attention has been on Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, it was a welcome addition to have another knockdown shooter like Melo to help spread the floor for head coach Terry Stotts.
Although having Anthony in the lineup could provide some defensive liabilities for the team, having veteran Trevor Ariza and a healthy Rodney Hood should be able to fill that void. Gary Trent, Jr. has also shown huge defensive potential as the team’s main backcourt defender, so Portland isn’t in a bad position defensively.
Moreover, when locked in, Anthony has proven so far in his career that he can go toe-to-toe with the likes of LeBron James at the block.
Off the court, Anthony can also provide some much needed experience for the Blazers’ young core. Obviously, it’s Lillard and McCollum leading the way for Portland moving forward, but having a savvy veteran like Melo would be huge for the development of young forwards like Zach Collins and Wenyen Gabriel. If he is willing to adjust to a reserve role at this point of his career, then it would make a lot of sense if he ends up staying at least for another season.
After Sunday’s game, Anthony made it clear that if it were up to him, he would be more than happy to keep his talents in Rip City.
“In my mind, I’ll be right back in the fray of things when next season comes,” Carmelo Anthony said post-game, per Yahoo! Sports. “I pray that it can be Portland, I think I found a home in Portland.”
That’s if the Blazers would still have him.
After an unprecedented 2019-2020 NBA season, as well as the unpredictability of the upcoming campaign as the league recovers from all the adjustments due to COVID-19, it’s going to be interesting to see if the Blazers will opt to keep the former scoring champion.
Whatever happens though, Portland Melo was definitely something fun to watch.
Will Portland stick with the future Hall of Famer and “Stay Melo” or is Anthony’s solid season for the Blazers just one-and-done?