The Blazers’ talented backcourt reportedly made a pitch to Carmelo Anthony to try and convince him to come to Portland.
The Oregonian reported that Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum said they reached out to Anthony to try and recruit him. When asked of Anthony’s reaction McCollum said, “I think he’s interested,” according to The Oregonian.
Earlier in the day, McCollum was on SiriusXM NBA Radio, and said. “If we add Carmelo Anthony, we’ll be a top three team in the West immediately.” McCollum also posted a picture of Anthony in a Blazers uniform on Instagram over the weekend.
The Blazers have been involved in trade talks for Anthony, but previously as a third team to help facilitate a deal.
The Rockets have been trying to acquire Anthony from the Knicks. One holdup has been finding a team to take Houston forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years and $61 million remaining on his contract. To this point, the Knicks have no interest in taking back Anderson in an Anthony deal.
ESPN reported over the weekend that Portland no longer wants to be a team in the trade, unless it can land Anthony. The 10-time All-Star has informed the Knicks that he would waive his no-trade clause for Houston and Cleveland.
It’s unclear if he’d been willing to expand that to include the Blazers.
The 33-year-old Anthony wants to play with his friends Chris Paul, who the Rockets traded for in June, and LeBron James. Also, the Rockets and Cavaliers are title contenders.
Anthony reportedly asked the Knicks to buy him out earlier in the summer so he could sign with whatever team he wants, but they said no.
At a news conference Monday, newly appointed Knicks president Steve Mills said buying out Anthony is not an option.
According to multiple reports, Anthony wants to be traded to the Rockets and has no interest in returning to the Knicks. Mills said Anthony remaining a Knick was a possibility despite announcing that they will emphasize youth, athleticism, defense, length and teamwork.
Mills acknowledged that the Knicks put all Anthony negotiations on hold while they were hiring new general manager Scott Perry. Talks could resume at any time with Perry taking over the discussions and trying to find a deal that he likes.
Mills admitted the Knicks would continue to explore trades for Anthony, and wasn’t putting a timetable on when he wanted anything done. NBA training camps don’t open until the end of September.
“Our view is if there’s an opportunity that works for Carmelo and works for us, then we’ll look at some kind of trade,” Mills said Monday. “We’ll be in constant communication with Carmelo and his camp and we’ll come to some resolution that works well for both us.”