Carmelo Anthony officially signed with the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, and it appears the team has no problem throwing him straight in to the fray.
According to ESPN’s Marc Spear, ‘Melo will start in tonight’s contest in New Orleans and play around 20 minutes of game time.
Portland’s president of basketball operations Neil Olshey announced the signing today, saying:
Carmelo is an established star in this league that will provide a respected presence in our locker room and a skill set at a position of need on the floor.
The 35-year-old veteran has played 16 seasons in the NBA across a variety of destinations, including Denver, New York, Oklahoma City and Houston. He holds career averages of 24 PPG (19th all-time in total points), 6.5 RPG, 3 APG and 1 SPG in just over 1,050 starts in the league.
Anthony announced in a cryptic (arguably bizarre) Instagram post on Tuesday morning that he would be wearing the number 00 in Portland.
Portland’s deal with Anthony is worth $2.15 million, assuming he remains with the team past the NBA’s roster guarantee date – January 10th. The deal makes sense for both parties, with Anthony looking for a home since being traded from the Rockets after just 10 games last season and the Trail Blazers incredibly shorthanded at the forward position, with Zach Collins undergoing recent shoulder surgery, Rodney Hood suffering from recurring back spasms, Jusuf Nurkic rehabbing a broken leg and Pau Gasol yet to play after undergoing foot surgery in the offseason.
Anthony is a 10x All-Star, has been named to an All-NBA team six times and won the scoring title in 2012-13. He famously has won three Olympic gold medals and one bronze. As well as ranking 19th all time for points scored, Anthony is also one of just 11 players in NBA history with at least 25,000 points, 6,900 rebounds and 3,100 assists.