Carmelo Anthony is returning to the NBA, a new report claims.
After a full year away from the league, Anthony is back and is expected to sign a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday night. The team had not yet announced the deal and the exact terms remain unknown, but Wojnarowski reported that it would be a non-guaranteed deal.
Anthony had difficulty finding a new NBA home after the Houston Rockets parted ways with him last season after just 10 games. Anthony has averaged 24 points per game over his career and had consistently been one of the league’s most talented and prolific scorers, but saw a significant drop off in his performance in recent seasons. He averaged just 13.4 points games with the Rockets last year.
As CBS Sports noted, Anthony joins a Trail Blazers team that has struggled to match its strong play from last year, when the team reached the Western Conference Finals only to be swept by the Golden State Warriors.
As the report noted, the Trail Blazers are in particular need of help in the frontcourt early this season, meaning Anthony could play an immediate role.
“Anthony will join a frontcourt that is severely lacking at the power forward position, particularly after a significant injury to Zach Collins,” the report noted.
Anthony seemed to hint at the return recently, telling TMZ Sports that there was a “2,000 percent” chance he would be back playing this season. Anthony said his camp was “figuring it out” while he remained in Los Angeles, sparking speculation that he could be joining the Lakers or Clippers.
Anthony had also said during an interview with ESPN’s First Take in August that he wanted to be on a team that could compete for an NBA title, but that he also wanted to play an important role on the team. During his one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony had chafed at the idea of coming off the bench, and the August interview showed that he still had a strong desire to play a meaningful role in the league.
“I want to play and I want to go and win a championship, but I also want to play. I want to get back out there on the court. I miss the game. I was away from the game for damn near a whole season. I got the opportunity to step back and grow as a person, and I deserve another shot,” Anthony said.
It is not yet clear what Anthony’s role with the Trail Blazers will be, and the team is still yet to officially announce the signing.