Portland was in desperate need of frontcourt help but, like the rest of the league, it was not sold on Carmelo Anthony as the answer.
The Trail Blazers decided to take a chance on Anthony, but a low-risk one — a non-guaranteed contract.
It’s worked out better than anyone had hoped — Anthony is averaging 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, and the Blazers have been +14.2 per 100 possessions when he is on the court. Portland is 4-4 since he was signed (although, to be fair, the four wins came after Damian Lillard returned from injury to the lineup).
With that, the Trail Blazers have decided to guarantee Anthony’s contract for the rest of the season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Consider this a reward for Anthony.
The bigger reward is that Anthony is getting to redefine the end of his career. Understandably he did not like the way it ended, with getting played off the floor in the playoffs for Oklahoma City, then only lasting 10 games in Houston. The market had dried up for Anthony until Portland came through with an offer.
Now Anthony will be with the Blazers through the end of the season. At the very least.