Carmelo Anthony was written off and effectively cast out of the NBA after back-to-back disappointing stints in Oklahoma City and Houston. After two straight seasons of barely clawing above 40% shooting, teams lost interest in the declining veteran, especially given his inefficiencies.
After remaining unsigned for more than a calendar year, Melo was finally given another chance with a slow-starting Trail Blazers squad that was desperate for another playmaker to help them out of their rut.
Melo answered their call for help in stride, and has since become a regular starter for Terry Stotts' Blazers. He's putting up more than respectable numbers, averaging 16.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, while shooting 39.6% from beyond the arc.
He has since earned a fully guaranteed contract, which will keep him in Portland for the remainder of the season.
What Melo has done in Portland should not be understated, nor should it be exaggerated. He has revived his career, showing that he's still capable of producing as a scorer, and has shown effort on the defensive side of the ball as well. While he's not extremely efficient, Anthony is proving to everyone that he still belongs in the NBA.
Just a few months ago, this guy was rejected by a Team USA squad that was getting turned down by just about every one of the league's stars. Now he's logging 31 minutes per night in Portland and is looking to help them get back into the hunt in the Western Conference.
Anthony is a man on a mission. At 35, nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, but he already knows that. He experienced it first-hand after his departure from Houston. Melo is determined to carve out a role in the league for a few more years, and has no plans of calling it quits after this feel-good 2019-20 NBA season.
Don't mistake this for a farewell tour, folks. Melo is back, and he's looking to stick around. Whether or not his future resides in Portland remains to be seen, but he's showcasing himself in a way that will make it very difficult for teams to justify not picking him up at the season's end.
He's by no means the All-Star caliber scorer he used to be, but even in a small sample, he's made it quite evident that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.