The Portland Trail Blazers have been linked to a trade involving New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony once again. However, this time it appears they are attempting to acquire Anthony, instead of facilitating his move to the Houston Rockets. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers are only willing to be involved if it means that they are in the running to land the 33-year-old forward.
One of the teams that New York and Houston had hoped would facilitate a multi-team trade for Anthony -- the Portland Trail Blazers -- only plans to participate in a deal for Anthony if he decides to expand his no-trade clause to include the Trail Blazers, league sources told ESPN.
Wojnarowski also included the thought process behind the Blazers' desire to add Anthony to their current core of players.
Outside of Golden State, Portland believes the addition of a player such as Anthony would furnish it with talent and depth comparable to those of the top Western Conference contenders, league sources said. Because of that, the Blazers have little, if any, inclination to facilitate an Anthony deal that would land him with a Western Conference rival such as Houston, league sources said.
Previous talks reportedly involved a multi-team trade, with Houston's Ryan Anderson as Portland's target. Those talks were paused after the Knicks hired Scott Perry to fill New York's General Manager role. It now appears that trade negotiations will resume after Perry discussed possible options with Anthony since being hired.
Anthony has appeared in eight consecutive All-Star Games, and averaged 22.4 points per game last season for the Knicks. He is set to make over $50 million in the final two years of his contract. The final year of his deal does have some flexibility, as he possesses an early termination option after the 2017-18 season concludes.
Recently, Eric Griffith made the case against trading for Ryan Anderson. The Blazers’ Evan Turner felt that Anthony would be a significant help to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. And Dave Deckard discussed the pro’s and con’s of Carmelo Anthony joining the Blazers.
If his Instagram account is any indication, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum might be amenable to ‘Melo in a Portland uniform.
CJ McCollum wants to see Melo play in Rip City— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 16, 2017
(via 3jmccollum/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/fBRhga1Wcc
The original picture can be found via @CSNNW on Twitter. McCollum re-posted it on his Instagram account today.