Carmelo Anthony maintained an optimistic outlook despite tasting defeat on his Portland Trail Blazers debut on Tuesday.

The 10-time NBA All-Star managed just 10 points after going four-of-14 from the field in a 115-104 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

But the 35-year-old forward was delighted to be back in the action after a frustrating time with the Houston Rockets.

"It felt great just to be back into the flow of the game, be back on the court, be back to where I think I belong," Anthony said.

"Just being back out there with the guys again. I think most of all the routine – team bus, team lunch, being around the guys in the locker room – just the routine I've been used to for 17 years now ... so getting back into that. As far as the game goes, it felt good to be back out there.

"As far as conditioning, though, I felt absolutely great out there. There were minor things, but it was more of the flow of things, and getting used to how the team plays and sets and getting used to the guys on the team."

Blazers coach Terry Stotts, whose side have lost 10 of their 15 games, was also content with Anthony's maiden outing.

"To be honest, I thought he looked good," he said. "I thought offensively he got looks, he got good looks at the basket.

"I thought he got fouled at least two or three times taking it strong to the basket. He then came away empty, so that kind of affected his [stat] line.

"But I thought, for having a morning shoot-around, I thought it was pretty good."

The Portland Trail Blazers have confirmed the signing of 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony - and could hand their latest addition his debut for the team on Tuesday.

Anthony has not featured in the league in over a year, since a short-lived spell with the Houston Rockets came to an end.

However, the 35-year-old has played over 1,000 games in a career that has spanned 16 seasons since he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2003 draft.

Anthony has previously played for the Denver Nuggets - the team who drafted him - as well as the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"Carmelo is an established star in this league that will provide a respected presence in our locker room and a skill set at a position of need on the floor," said Neil Olshey, Portland's president of basketball operations.

Anthony will wear number 00 for the Trail Blazers, who reached last season's Western Conference Finals but are struggling at 5-9 this year.

The NBA's scoring champion for the 2012-13 campaign has been activated in time to feature against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Carmelo Anthony says joining the Portland Trail Blazers feels like the "perfect opportunity" to resurrect his NBA career.

The veteran forward is expected to join the Trail Blazers ahead of their road match-up with the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

Anthony, 35, has been out of the league since he was waived by the Chicago Bulls back in February and last played a game in November 2018 for the Houston Rockets.

The 10-time All-Star is determined to grasp his opportunity now he has secured his return.

The veteran forward said in a YouTube clip: "I always kept my eye on Portland. It just didn't work out at other times. But now it seems like a perfect opportunity.

"I just look at that team and say, 'This is what I can bring, this is where I can help'. It can only work if all parties see it the same way.

"What happened before is the past; I can't dwell on that. I learned from that.

"This happened at a point of time in my life where I do have a lot of clarity and understanding of different situations, just life. My approach is totally different."Portland made the Western

Conference Finals last season but are struggling at 5-9 this time around and lost 132-108 to the Rockets on Monday.

 

Believe it or not NBA free agency is still happening, even if there are not any All-Star calibre players remaining on the market.

Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Khris Middleton, Kemba Walker and Kawhi Leonard are all spoken for. But there are still players available who can make a difference.

Let's look at some of the top role players for hire this offseason.

 

Carmelo Anthony

No one really knows what Anthony plans on doing. The 35-year-old forward only played in 10 games for the Houston Rockets in 2018-19 before stepping away after the team decided he was not a good fit. He was later traded to the Chicago Bulls and released.

Some wonder if Anthony is just washed up and should retire, but he can still have some value as a spark plug off the bench. It is just a matter of whether he is willing to accept that role.

The 10-time All-Star has a career scoring average of 24.0 points per game and averaged more than 20 points for his first 14 seasons in the league. His already questionable efficiency has dropped in recent years, but plenty of teams need firepower from their reserves.

Everybody shipped Anthony to the Los Angeles Lakers after he was released by the Bulls. But that did not pan out. Nevertheless, it is not crazy to think a team will take a chance on signing a consistent double-digit scorer for the league minimum.

Thabo Sefolosha

Sefolosha can be plugged into basically any line-up, making him one of the best catches available.

The three-and-D wing has length at 6-7 and can pester opposing teams on the ball or off it. He shot 43.6 per cent from beyond the arc with the Utah Jazz last season. However, his durability could be looked at as a major concern, as he has played more than 70 games just five times in his 13-year career.

Sefolosha consistently demonstrates his skillset and knows exactly what role he is brought in to fill, regardless of schemes.

Kenneth Faried

Whoever signs Faried will get the ultimate hustle guy.

The 6-8 big man is undersized but can bring an influx of energy to any line-up when he is on the court. Faried catches lobs, blocks shots and grabs rebounds with an intensity that is rarely matched by the opposition.

Faried did not make any noise as a reserve of the Brooklyn Nets last season, averaging 5.1 points and 3.7 rebounds. Once Brooklyn waived him, he tallied 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds on a significantly better Rockets team.

Faried is a product of his environment and plenty of teams could benefit from his grit and relentless effort. He is called "The Manimal" for a reason.

Chauncey Billups believes he knows why Carmelo Anthony remains unsigned.

Anthony was a star with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets but has not played in the NBA since he parted ways with the Houston Rockets in mid-November.

"The reason he's not in the league – because he's still worthy – he hasn't mentally taken that step back to say 'Okay, I'll come in and play against backups. I'll try to help the team out. I know I might not be able to close, but I just want to help the team out,'" Billups told SiriusXM radio.

"He's not there yet."

Anthony averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in his 10 games with the Rockets, who eventually traded him to the Bulls in January. Chicago immediately released him, and he has been a free agent since.

Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, and Billups were team-mates with Denver and New York from 2008-11.

"I feel bad for Melo and here's why," Billups said.

"Melo was like a good team-mate, man. Melo practised every day. He didn't miss any games. Now, the one thing I will say – and I've even told Melo this – scoring 30 meant too much to Melo. Because, he could have games where he had 20, 22, we win the game, and he's mad. He might have 36 … we lose the game and he's in there [the locker room] picking everybody up."

League executives believe the Lakers are the "most likely destination" for Anthony, according to an earlier report from SNY. Anthony is good friends with Los Angeles star LeBron James and the team reportedly had some level of interest in signing him during last season.

The Lakers, however, have made multiple other moves to fill out their roster.

"At this point, I just want to be happy," Anthony said in January. "I think I've put myself in a good, peaceful mind state right now, [being] able to focus in on what I need to focus in on. And whatever's going to make me happy, then we're going to make it happen."

Anthony said in late April he would be open to re-signing with the Knicks.

LeBron James made his home debut at Staples Center but it did not go according to plan after the Los Angeles Lakers lost a feisty game against the Houston Rockets. 

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