The Portland Trail Blazers found themselves in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors last season. They weren’t able to advance to the final playoff series of the year, but it was a stellar run for a team that desperately needed some playoff success in order to prove that their roster construction theory is tenable.
The team has added some veteran players, including Pau Gasol, and it’s been speculated that the Blazers might be a landing spot for former NBA scoring champion Carmelo Anthony. Anthony had been rumored as a potential Trail Blazer in seasons past, with Lillard apparently lobbying for his services.
But in a recent interview, Lillard said that Anthony is not a potential candidate to come to Portland as a veteran presence this season.
Despite his understanding that the Blazers will not add Anthony, Lillard also said that Carmelo deserves to be in the NBA. That’s a pretty common refrain from current players, although you could debate whether that’s an accurate assessment of the vet’s skill set at this juncture.
Whether as irony or miscalculated enthusiasm, many fans in Portland have wanted to add Anthony to their team as a scoring boost in recent years. That’s unlikely to work, particularly for a team that needs 3-point shooting and defense on the wing — two things that Anthony does not provide.
Who knows whether Carmelo will end up in the NBA this season? He is making a strong push to return to the league, but until he signs on the dotted line and we see him in a jersey, I wouldn’t count on watching Anthony in 2019.