Carmelo Anthony has not played in an NBA game in over a year, and fortunately for the future Hall of Famer, that is going to change soon as he is signing with the Portland Trail Blazers. Unfortunately for fans eager to see him on his new team, though, they’ll have to wait just a little while longer.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Anthony’s debut with the Blazers isn’t expected until at least Tuesday, when the Blazers battle the New Orleans Pelicans on the road. Having only agreed to the deal on Thursday, Anthony still needs to pass a physical and actually sign on the dotted line. That is not expected to happen until at least Saturday, when the Blazers are in San Antonio to face the Spurs.
They are off Sunday, but on Monday, they battle with the last team Anthony played for, the Houston Rockets. While the rematch would have made for great television, asking a defensive liability like Anthony to debut against one of the league’s best offenses probably would have done more harm than good. A bout with the 3-8 Pelicans should allow him to ease into the rotation more naturally.
The Blazers don’t return to Portland until Wednesday, Nov. 27, so it will be almost two weeks before Anthony gets to play in front of his new home fans. While a matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks looms as a dangerous game on this road trip, Portland will also play against lottery teams in the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. Ideally, this will allow them to build some momentum with Anthony on board and shield him from criticism if he struggles early on.
Eventually, though, they will need Anthony to at least be a useful role player. With Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic out, Portland is incredibly thin less than a month into the season. Most of their forward minutes have gone to undersized guards and oversized centers. Anthony should be helpful in that regard, but his style is still a questionable fit on this roster.
Courtesy: CBS Sports