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Carmelo Anthony to return to Portland Trail Blazers on 1-year deal, sources say

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Free agent Carmelo Anthony has agreed to a one-year minimum deal to return to the Portland Trail Blazers, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.

After sour endings in Oklahoma City and Houston — and more than a year out of the NBA — Anthony signed on with the Trail Blazers last November and seemed to immediately find a home.

He was named Western Conference Player of the Week just weeks into his stint there, and when all was said and done, he had averaged 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists during the regular season while making 39% of his 3-pointers, the second-highest mark of his career (40% in 2013-14).

Anthony said he hoped to be back with the Blazers after Portland was eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

“Whenever you find a situation that’s comfortable and allows you to be who you are, you want to stay in that situation,” Anthony said then. “There’s no need to try different things when something is working.”

Anthony will be on the hunt for some milestones. Career-wise, the 10-time All-Star still is looking to reach the NBA Finals for the first time. Individually, he needs 51 points to pass Tim Duncan for 14th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, and if he can match the 895 points he scored in 2019-20, he’d find himself in the top 10 all time.

Anthony, 36, is entering his 17th NBA season.

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NBA free agents – Team-by-team lists for 2021 and 2022

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Who are the NBA free agents to watch in 2021 and 2022? The 2020 free-agent class featured less star power than normal, as the league blitzed through a condensed transaction period featuring the draft and free agency in the same week.

The 2021 class has more hype, potentially featuring names such as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chris Paul, Paul George, Victor Oladipo, DeMar DeRozan, Blake Griffin, Rudy Gobert and Andre Drummond. Some of those players will agree to extensions or pick up player options before ever hitting the market, while others will have plenty of suitors.

Here’s our team-by-team look at all the players who can and will hit free agency over the next two seasons.

Key: Restricted = Restricted free agent; Player = Player option; Team = Team option; ETO = Early termination option

MORE: 2021 NBA offseason preview


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Charlotte Hornets complete sign-and-trade with Boston Celtics to acquire Gordon Hayward

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The Boston Celtics have traded Gordon Hayward and second-round draft picks in 2023 and 2024 to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a conditional 2022 second-round draft pick.

The sign-and-trade agreement creates a $27.9 million trade exception for the Celtics, the largest in NBA history.

Hayward, 30, declined his $34.2 million player option with Boston earlier this month, ending a tumultuous three-year run with the team, then agreed to a four-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gordon and his family to the Hornets organization and Charlotte,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Gordon is an NBA All-Star, a proven scorer and playmaker and a tough competitor that will fit well into the needs of our team. We believe that his basketball talent, NBA experience and veteran leadership will make a positive impact on our young, talented team as it continues to develop.”

To help make room for Hayward’s salary, Charlotte waived Nicolas Batum. The final year of his deal will be stretched over the next three seasons as a yearly $9 million dead cap hit.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks contributed to this report.

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NBA says Kobe Bryant’s delayed Hall of Fame induction coming in May 2021

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will finally enter the Basketball Hall of Fame in May 2021.

The NBA said Saturday that the delayed Hall of Fame weekend — it was to have taken place in Springfield, Massachusetts, in August before being pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic — will be held May 13-15.

Bryant, Duncan and Garnett — with a combined 48 All-Star Game selections and 11 NBA championships between them — were the headliners of the class that was announced in April. They all got into the Hall in their first year as finalists, as did WNBA great Tamika Catchings.

Others had to wait a bit longer for the Hall’s call: Two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich got in this year, as did longtime Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, along with daughter Gianna and seven others. Sutton died May 23.

Also going in as part of this class is former FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann, who was chosen by the international committee. Baumann died in October 2018.

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