Trail Blazers To Sign Carmelo Anthony

The Portland Trail Blazers intend to sign Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed deal, Adrian Wojnaowski of ESPN reports. Anthony has been out of the league since he was traded by the Houston Rockets last season.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks adds that Anthony’s deal will become guaranteed if he remains on the roster through January 7. He’ll join the squad for their upcoming road trip, Wojnarowski adds.

Portland’s interest in Anthony has been well documented but the forward didn’t appear eager to sign on with the squad when presented with opportunities to do so over the years. Now, as the short-handed Blazers struggle to fill vacancies created by players like Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic, Anthony represents a potentially solid replacement.

Anthony will be in the mix for reps at the four with Mario Hezonja and Anthony Tolliver.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that Blazers guard Damian Lillard was notified of the move last night and has always been supportive of bringing Anthony to town.

Given that the Blazers already had a roster spot open, they don’t need to make any moves to facilitate the signing. They are, however, a team already deep into the luxury tax that will now be in line to pay considerably more with an additional player on board, especially if Anthony ends up sticking around for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign.

While Anthony held his own in ten contests with the Rockets in 2018-19, two of them starts, the team opted to cancel the experiment and traded the former All-Star to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls promptly released the 35-year-old and he’s been on the outside of the league looking in since.

While Anthony didn’t latch on with a team throughout the offseason, it wasn’t because of a lack of interest. At various times through the summer Nets players were advocating for their squad to sign the veteran and the Knicks alluded to the notion that they’d have reached out to Anthony if their initial, more ambitious free agency plans had come to fruition.

To his credit, Anthony has remained committed to returning to the league and apparently kept himself in good enough condition through mid-November to convince a team to give him another shot. Last week he re-iterated his interest in playing again.

Having bounced around several franchises since he was dealt by the New York Knicks back in 2017, all eyes will be on Anthony as he looks to help jumpstart a Blazers squad that’s limped to a 4-8 start this season.

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Iman Shumpert Inks Deal With Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have signed Iman Shumpert to a minimum contract, the team has announced in a press release. The 29-year-old will help fill the vacancy created by Caris LeVert’s thumb injury.

The Nets, who already have 15 players on their roster, don’t need to waive a player to accommodate the veteran. Brooklyn was permitted to move Wilson Chandler to the suspended list after the fifth game of his suspension.

Brooklyn can have a 16th player until Chandler’s suspension expires in mid-December.

Shumpert joins the Nets after a campaign split between the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings in 2018-19. He served a valuable role as a locker room leader for the young Kings and eventually joined the Western Conference contender Rockets at the trade deadline.

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Caris LeVert To Miss Several Weeks With Thumb Injury

The Brooklyn Nets will be without Caris LeVert for several weeks, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The 25-year-old guard has injured his thumb and the franchise fears that he has damaged a ligament.

The news will set the already short-staffed Nets back as LeVert had been averaging 16.8 points per game for the squad through the first ten games of the 2019-20 campaign.

LeVert has struggled with various injuries throughout his young career and another prolonged absence will throw a wrench in the plan for the former Michigan Wolverine to take his game to the next level in Year 4.

LeVert suffered a severe right leg injury in 2018-19 and was limited to just 40 games that season.

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Eric Gordon To Miss Six Weeks After Knee Procedure

The Houston Rockets will be without shooting guard Eric Gordon for six weeks as he braces to undergo a knee procedure, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

The guard will have the procedure to clean things up after an MRI revealed that he had significant debris in his knee, Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic adds.

The absence, which would keep Gordon on the sidelines until around Christmas, will test the Rockets’ second unit. While Gordon has averaged just 10.9 points per game so far this season, he averaged north of 16 in 2018-19.

The 30-year-old will sacrifice a sizable chunk of the 2019-20 campaign to finally address an issue that head coach Mike D’Antoni says has been troubling him since the middle of last year.

Gordon will fail to play 70 games this season, his 10th time missing the mark in 12 seasons.

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De’Aaron Fox To Miss 3-4 Weeks With Ankle Sprain

The Sacramento Kings will be without De’Aaron Fox for three-to-four weeks, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The third-year guard sprained his left ankle in a team practice.

The loss of Fox will come as a crushing blow for a team that’s struggled out of the gates, already down a man in sophomore Marvin Bagley. Fox will be re-evaluated in a month.

Through nine games so far this season, Fox has averaged 18.2 points and 7.0 assists per game.

More to come.

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Derrick Rose To Return Monday

Update #1, 6:04 pm: According to Minnesota Timberwolves radio broadcaster Alan Horton, Derrick Rose has confirmed that he’ll play tonight.

The Detroit Pistons have been without supersub Derrick Rose for the past four games. Now, on the same night that the team welcomes Blake Griffin back to action, James Edwards III of The Athletic reports that Rose is considered a game-time decision.

Rose’s injury crept up on Detroit shortly after it was revealed that Reggie Jackson would be sidelined long-term with an injury of his own. The absence of the pair left the short-staffed roster even lighter on star talent.

Prior to his absence, which can be attributed to a right hamstring strain, Rose was playing stellar basketball similar to what he showed during an impressive comeback campaign with the Timberwolves in 2018-19.

Through six games, Rose had averaged 20.8 points and 6.3 assists in just 25 minutes per game off the bench for Detroit. If Rose is fully healthy, he could be a legitimate starting point guard option for the team that has started 2018 second-rounder Bruce Brown Jr. for the past four contests.

If Rose is ruled out yet again prior to tip, Pistons fans can take solace in the fact that a return appears imminent. Rose is formally listed as questionable in the team’s injury report.

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Leg Injury To Sideline Khris Middleton For Several Weeks

Update #1, 5:59 pm: Charania has added that Middleton’s absence is expected to be between three and four weeks.

The Milwaukee Bucks will be without All-Star swingman Khris Middleton for several weeks, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The 28-year-old small forward has suffered a leg injury.

While the Bucks are sure to be cautious with their second-leading scorer, the veteran is said to have avoided serious damage to his leg.

Through 10 games so far this season, Middleton has averaged 18.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. That includes his abbreviated appearance on Sunday when he left for the locker room after just 22 minutes of action.

When Middleton left the Sunday game prematurely, Matt Velasquez of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that he had suffered a left thigh contusion.

The precise connection between Middleton’s latest diagnosis and that initial determination is not yet known.

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