EXCLUSIVE: A Breakdown of How Damian Lillard Convinced Portland to Sign Carmelo Anthony

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It’s been nearly 13 months since the sports world has seen Carmelo Anthony on an NBA court, but the pending hall-of-famer has been granted admission back into the league. Thursday evening, the Portland Trail Blazers inked Melo to a non-guaranteed, one-year deal; who have started the season with a losing record.

Along with injury problems in the small forward department, Damian Lillard became the first superstar to request the services of Melo this year. Anthony is set to join the team on their upcoming road rip this Saturday, which begins against the Dallas Mavericks.

However, we’ve been told that Dame had been pushing for Portland to give him a deal all year. After agreeing to his four-year supermax contract extension over the summer, the superstar point-guard’s biggest request was allegedly getting Melo on the team.

Unfortunately, the team said no over the summer; and lost key wing players like Maurice Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Evan Turner. Dropping a to 4-8 last night, after a loss to the Toronto Raptors, was the breaking point for the front office in fears of falling too low in record standings.

With Melo joining the team, Dame and C.J. will have help on the second unit, which is where Anthony will be the leader of that unit. The non-guaranteed contract Melo has, is similar to the Dwight Howard situation, where he made $40 million last year.

Many felt franchise owners had forced Melo out the league for not-agreeing to play ball in Oklahoma City. Before joining the Houston Rockets, Anthony was asked to waive his no-trade clause, which would’ve saved OKC salary cap money. In 2018, Melo was given a $27.9 million buyout and signed with the Houston Rockets. As discipline, Melo had to miss an entire year of action and was called up only a month into the season.

Over the last few weeks, his ban was privately dropped, as the Golden State Warriors were heavily pushing for him to join them, led by Steph Curry. Kobe Bryant (NOT LEBRON) and the Los Angeles Lakers were also the second team, who missed out on him, as they needed veteran leadership on the wing.

The Brooklyn Nets were also privately vocal about not bringing in Carmelo, as they inked Iman Shumpert to a deal yesterday.

This big acquisition could change the landscape of the western conference, as Portland gets a veteran piece with extended range they’ve been needing for years. Let us know in the comments what you think.

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