Break In Case Of Emergency - Carmelo Anthony
Prior to the start of the 2019-2020 NBA season, Portland Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey touted this roster as the “deepest, most versatile” he had ever put together. Yet after losing starting power forward Zach Collins, arguably only the 4th best player on the team, to a possible season-ending labrum injury after only three games, the Trail Blazers find themselves in a tailspin sitting with a 4-8 record and 13th in the Western Conference.
The Blazers have featured six different starting lineups since losing Collins, experimenting with Anthony Tolliver, Mario Hezonja, and even 19-year old rookie Nassir Little at the starting power forward spot. None of them worked, the losses kept coming.
Nothing has helped fill the void of losing one starting player on this “deep and versatile” team and the Blazers were left scrambling at how exactly they would save their lackluster season. So they finally decided to break the emergency glass and pull out a move that screams of desperation, even if it has the blessing of Damian Lillard.
Carmelo Anthony has agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Personally, I’m still trying to get over the fact that the starting five for this team will include Damian Lillard, CJ McCullom, Rodney Hood, Carmelo Anthony, and Hassan Whiteside. If this was 2016, Blazer fans would be through the roof with excitement and optimism. But in 2019, and Whiteside getting called out on national television for lack-luster, empty stats, I’m not sure that signing a future Hall of Fame player who hasn’t stepped foot on the court for exactly one year is something to be excited about.
Sure, it creates buzz and at least gives the optics that the organization realizes that there were issues that needed to be addressed. But Carmelo Anthony is 35-years old. He didn’t last 10 games with the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls didn’t even deem him worthy enough of playing after being traded there. And the Blazers already have a reclamation project player in a contract year on their roster that they are hoping Lillard can fix in Whiteside.
Carmelo has been begging to get back in the league since being waived by the Bulls. The Blazers are struggling and razor thin at the four. This is a match that works on paper, but might not work in the real world. There is only one basketball. And now the Blazers have an All-Star player who deserves the ball in his hands in Dame, a mid-range Robin who dominates the rock when he touches it in CJ, a malcontent center who sees points as his only meaningful way to contribute and gets moody with lack of touches in Whiteside, and now Melo.
I’m not seeing it work, but I hope I’m wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time and it probably won’t be the last. The Blazers needed to do something to try and stop the bleeding and Anthony was just sitting there waiting for his chance. Who knows how this goes.
Now what about the defense…..