Two major pieces of the Portland Trail Blazers say they’ve reached out to Carmelo Anthony in an attempt to sell the New York Knicks star on their team.
All-Star Damian Lillard and teammate CJ McCollum, speaking Wednesday at Lillard’s basketball camp in Beaverton, Oregon, said Anthony sounded intrigued by the idea.
“He can help us a lot; we can help him,” McCollum said, according to The Oregonian. “He wants to play in the playoffs and be competitive. He’s a very talented player. I think if we get him — when we get him — I think [we’re] top three in the West, easy.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported over the weekend that Anthony still is counting on the Knicks to carry out their previously agreed upon mandate to trade him to the Houston Rockets.
Carmelo Anthony expects the Knicks to resume trade talks soon, and league sources told ESPN he’s counting on the team to trade him to the Rockets.
The 33-year-old forward has been willing to waive his no-trade clause for Houston and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but in recent weeks, he has begun to prioritize a trade to the Rockets to join Chris Paul and James Harden over one to the Cavaliers and LeBron James, league sources said.
Portland was one team that New York and Houston had hoped would facilitate a multiteam trade for Anthony, but league sources told Wojnarowski that the Trail Blazers only plan to participate in a deal for Anthony if he decides to expand his no-trade clause to include them.
That, however, is not an option for Anthony, sources said.
“Obviously, with that being out there and that being a real possibility, I don’t see why I wouldn’t reach out to him and let him know the interest is mutual, if he’s interested in us,” Lillard said, according to The Oregonian. “We had a conversation … so he knew that it wasn’t just the team — but it was myself and CJ — [that] would love to have him here.”
McCollum, who posted a photo of Anthony in a Portland jersey on Instagram over the weekend, felt the Knicks star was “interested” in what the Trail Blazers duo had to say.
“Obviously, I feel like he wants to play with friends, with Banana Boat friends,” McCollum said, according to The Oregonian. “I know he wants to play with [Chris Paul] and LeBron. Those are very good teams, very good options. But I feel like we’re also a very good option.”
Knicks president Steve Mills said earlier this week Anthony could remain with the team this season, despite acknowledging that the organization would continue to pursue a trade involving the 10-time All-Star.
Mills also said that the Knicks would not pursue a buyout of the remaining years on Anthony’s contract.
Anthony, sources told ESPN’s Ian Begley, said to friends as recently as earlier this week that he still expects to end up in Houston.