If Carmelo Anthony isn’t back with the Knicks next season, the thought is that he will end up with either the Rockets or the Cavaliers. There have been trade rumors swirling around Carmelo for months now, and just about all of those rumors end with him in either a Houston or Cleveland jersey. Carmelo has a no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to nix deals to any teams he doesn’t want to play for, so he can basically force the Knicks' hand and get them to trade him to the team he wants to play for. As a result, you’re probably not going to see him playing anywhere other than New York, Houston, or Cleveland next season.
But one new potential landing spot for Carmelo emerged this week when the Trail Blazers’ top two players both started to indicate that they would love to be in the discussion for Carmelo this summer. Earlier this week, C.J. McCollum raised more than a few eyebrows when he posted a photo of Carmelo in a Portland jersey on Instagram:
And at a basketball camp on Wednesday, McCollum and his teammate Damian Lillard revealed that they have been actively trying to recruit Carmelo to come to Portland in recent days. Lillard imagined what it would be like to add Carmelo to the Blazers’ current roster:
McCollum went as far as to say that Carmelo was "interested" in what they had to say.
McCollum also did an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Wednesday, and he suggested that, if the Trail Blazers were to add Carmelo to the mix, Portland would immediately leapfrog a bunch of teams and land near the top of the Western Conference.
"If we add Carmelo Anthony, we’ll be a top-three team in the West immediately," he said.
McCollum also reiterated that point when he responded to a @siriusxmnba tweet that featured his "top-three team" quote and wrote, "Facts."
Despite McCollum and Lillard’s interest in Carmelo, it doesn’t sound like Carmelo is as "interested" in getting traded to Portland as the two Trail Blazers players think he is. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday night that, despite McCollum and Lillard’s pitch, Carmelo is still not willing to waive his no-trade clause for anyone other than the Rockets and Cavaliers. A source told the NYDN that the Blazers are "positioned well" to get into the mix if Carmelo expands his list of teams. But at least for now, McCollum and Lillard are out of luck.
The idea of Carmelo playing for Portland seems like a longshot. But then again, if you had told us that Paul George would end up on the Thunder just a few weeks ago, we would have called you crazy for suggesting that, too. Stay tuned to see where Carmelo ultimately ends up playing after this whirlwind of a summer.