By Matt Citak
It’s no surprise that Carmelo Anthony wants out of New York. If it were up to the 33-year-old, he would have been traded to the Rockets last week. But the Knicks’ new front office does not want to rush into a deal just to get something done, instead preferring to wait until a trade emerges that helps jump-start their rebuild.
For the last few weeks, all of the focus has been on Houston and Cleveland as potential landing spots for Anthony. But on Wednesday, the Blazers, formerly seen as a team that would help facilitate a three- or four-team trade, emerged as a possible suitor. Portland’s All-Star backcourt, consisting of guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, spoke to reporters at Lillard’s basketball camp, indicating their belief that Anthony would consider a trade to the Trail Blazers.
“I think he’s interested,” McCollum told the Oregonian. Later on SiriusXM Radio, he added, “If we add Carmelo Anthony, we’ll be a top three team in the West immediately.”
McCollum has been putting on the full-court press for Anthony to join him in Portland. Over the weekend, he posted an Instagram image of Anthony in a Blazers jersey, in addition to telling the Blazers’ website, “Hashtag free Melo.”
Lillard joined his teammate with optimism about Anthony agreeing to a trade to Portland, telling Rip City Radio that it is “a real possibility.”
But before Portland can even consider an attempt at acquiring the star forward, they must find a taker for Meyers Leonard. Leonard is owed $31.6 million over the next three seasons and stands as a roadblock to any deal involving Anthony heading to Portland.
While Portland’s dynamic backcourt might like their chances at landing Anthony, ESPN indicated the small forward does not have any interest in joining the Trail Blazers. The 6-foot-8 forward holds a full no-trade clause that he will only waive for the right situation, which reports claim might be limited to Houston and Cleveland.