Carmelo Anthony trade: Portland Trail Blazers interested in acquiring New York Knicks star

By @saihoops on
Carmelo Anthony trade, Portland Trail Blazers
Mar 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) looks to shoot against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Madison Square Garden. USA TODAY Sports / Adam Hunger

The Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as a possible destination for star forward Carmelo Anthony, who is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause this offseason. Talks between the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets recently stalled after the Eastern Conference team hired Scott Perry as their new general manager. 

With the Knicks seeking young players and draft picks instead of long-term contracts, the Rockets could not execute a Carmelo Anthony trade despite the forward's eagerness to join good friend Chris Paul in Houston. The Los Angeles Clippers and the Rockets came to terms on a sign-and-trade for Paul earlier in the summer.

According to ESPN, the Blazers were trying to facilitate a multi-team trade for Anthony but are now trying to acquire the 10-time All-Star forward for themselves. "One of the teams that New York and Houston had hoped would facilitate a multi-team trade for Anthony -- the Portland Trail Blazers -- plans to participate in a deal for Anthony only if he decides to expand his no-trade clause to include the Trail Blazers, league sources told ESPN," Adrian Wojnarowski wrote in a report published Saturday.

Carmelo Anthony trade: Blazers hoping to acquire Knicks star

The report added that Blazers are optimistic that a Big 3 pairing of Anthony, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum could challenge the second tier of contenders out West. In recent years, the taxing Western Conference has been dominated by the reigning champions Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. While franchises such as the Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves loaded up this summer, the Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers have been consistent playoff teams in recent years. The acquisition of Anthony could help the Blazers pose a threat to the Rockets or Thunder.

"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, except for the Golden State Warriors, 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," the report adds.

Despite Portland's renewed interest, the Rockets are still viewed as the frontrunners to pull off a Carmelo Anthony trade before the start of the 2017-18 NBA season. Anthony has US$54.2 million (AU$70.9 million) left on the five-year max deal he signed with New York ahead of the 2014-15 season. He is owed US$26.2 million (AU$34.4 million) for the 2017-18 season and US$27.9 million (AU$36.7 million) for the 2018-19 season. A Carmelo Anthony trade to Houston Rockets seems inevitable.