Why didn’t the Portland Trail Blazers call Carmelo Anthony in Free Agency?

NBA Legend Carmelo Anthony revealed on a recent podcast, that after two years with the Portland Trail Blazers, that the team didn’t reach out in Free Agency to offer him a deal, or to try to negotiate a potential return in 2022.

Melo revealed this on the posted up podcast with Yahoo’s NBA Insider Chris Haynes.

This is what he said when interviewed by Haynes.

“Well to be honest, it was just like, I found myself like sitting around and waiting on Portland, and I was just like you know I don’t want to talk to nobody yet and just see what, you know, see what Portland does, you know, see what happens. I was talking to Dame, talking to CJ. You know, we always talk, we don’t just talk about that but I was just waiting to see like okay are they gonna call? Are they interested? I haven’t heard anything, do they wanna bring me back? Do they wanna move on? I know they got a new coach. You know I’m sure there was a lot of things that was happening over there that was just not clear. But yeah I was waiting on that to see what was going to happen on that. You know that. I made that almost like a home for me. Like within two years I just felt like I was part of that community.”

Haynes asked if they followed up with him.

“They didn’t, no, they didn’t get back to me on the way that I thought they were going to get back to me. But again honestly I wasn’t expecting it.”

“I didn’t want to leave Dame, I didn’t want to leave CJ and those guys. I know the business of the game, I know the business of sports. I know what it is, Chris. I know the inside.”

Link below to podcast.

Though Melo struggled on defense in the two seasons he was with the team, he was a great spot-up shooter off the bench, and a source of offense especially in the 2020 season when the Blazers struggled in a major way with injuries.

2020 season

15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds.

58 games, 58 starts, 43 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from three-point range.

2021 season

13.4 points 3.1 rebounds.

69 games, 3 starts, 40 percent from the field, 40.9 percent from three-point range.

Considering his reported value and leadership to the locker room as well as the above stats, it’s surprising that there wasn’t even a conversation with him to return, or that they weren’t interested in his services. I don’t know what his role would have been after it was clear last season that he and Enes Kanter weren’t able to contain oppositions bigs, but, surprisingly, Neil Olshey and the front office didn’t even reach out.

Olshey even said a season or so ago, ” we are the caretakers of Carmelo Anthony’s NBA legacy”.

If the Blazers want to try and attract major free agents in the future, then they need to try and keep strong relationships with guys like Melo. I’m not certain why the Blazers front office didn’t reach out, but now Melo is on a stronger contender in the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Blazers still ended up with the stronger defense that they wanted.

We wish Melo all the best in Los Angeles.