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Carmelo Anthony signs deal with Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have Carmelo Anthony in the fold at last.

The Portland Trail Blazers have Carmelo Anthony in the fold at last.

The team announced the signing today, with president of basketball operations Neil Olshey saying the following: “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.”

According to ESPN’s Marc Spears, Anthony is expected to start and play about 20 minutes. Portland plays at New Orleans on Tuesday night (8 ET, NBA TV).

Anthony, 35, holds career NBA averages of 24.0 points (44.9% FG, 34.7% 3-PT, 81.1% FT), 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 1,064 games (1,056 starts) over 16 seasons with Denver, New York, Oklahoma City and Houston.

Talk of Anthony heading to Portland surfaced late last week.

Citing a “totally different” approach to the game, Anthony took to YouTube on Monday to explain his decision to join the Trail Blazers, and how he continued to prepare for an opportunity even as his career hung by the thinnest of threads.

“I always kept my eye on Portland,” said Anthony, who will wear No. 00 with the Blazers. “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.”

A 10-time NBA All-Star, Anthony, has been named to an All-NBA team six times and was the 2012-13 NBA scoring champion. As a member of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team, Anthony has won three Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012, 2016) and one bronze medal (2004). Originally selected by the Denver Nuggets with the third overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, Anthony attended Syracuse where he won the 2003 NCAA Championship as a freshman.

Among all-time NBA leaders, Anthony ranks 19th in points (25,551), 21st in field goals (9,137) and 41st in three-pointers (1,362). He is one of 11 players in NBA history with at least 25,000 points, 6,900 rebounds and 3,100 assists.

The forward has been searching for a team ever since he was traded away from the Houston Rockets after playing just 10 games last season. The Blazers were reportedly interested in Anthony in the summer of 2017. Portland guard CJ McCollum tried to woo him with a photoshopped Instagram post that showed the future Hall of Famer in a Blazers jersey.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Anthony’s deal is worth $2.15 million should he remain with the team beyond the NBA’s roster guarantee date of Jan. 10.

Anthony fills a need for the Blazers, who are short-handed at forward. Zach Collins recently had shoulder surgery that is expected to keep him out for at least four months. Rodney Hood has been bothered by back spasms, but returned for the team’s loss to Toronto.

Center Jusuf Nukic remains out after breaking his leg in a game last month and isn’t expected back until after the start of the new year. Pau Gasol was signed by the Blazers in the offseason but is still rehabbing from foot surgery.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.