The Portland Trail Blazers’ gamble on Carmelo Anthony appears to have paid off.
And now it’s paying off for the player himself.
The Blazers announced Friday that they’ve guaranteed Anthony’s temporary contract for the rest of the season. The 10-time All-Star is averaging almost 17 points and 6 rebounds in eight games with Portland. He was named Western Conference Player of the Week for his play at the end of November.
Before joining the Blazers, Anthony had been out of the NBA for about a year. The Trail Blazers meanwhile were sliding downhill before Anthony's arrival. After reaching the Western Conference Finals last season, the Blazers stumbled to a 5-9 record this season, as they struggled to integrate new players and overcome injuries.
Portland's record was a mediocre 4-4 over Anthony's first eight games with the team, but they've been on an upswing recently, having won four of their last five contests.
The Blazers play their first game against the rival Los Angeles Lakers this season Friday night. The Lakers lead the Western Conference with a 19-3 record.