The Blazers Reportedly Tried To Steal Carmelo Anthony Out From Under The Rockets

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The Carmelo Anthony saga in New York is still far from over. Depending on what day it is, you’re liable to hear that the Knicks and Rockets are close to finalizing a deal to send him to Houston or, alternately, that his incumbent franchise is going to try and repair relations and re-integrate him into the team going forward.

Yesterday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN added a new wrinkle to the story with news that the Portland Trail Blazers apparently tried to sneak in under the radar and steal Melo for themselves. The problem is that Anthony’s no-trade clause means he has to sign off on a deal, and, as of now, it doesn’t look like Portland is among his preferred destinations.

Here’s the transcript of Woj’s comments from Monday’s episode of The Jump, via

“Portland’s players are reaching out to Melo,” Wojnarowski said. “Portland would love to get involved in this and become a team that Melo would consider. … They would like for Carmelo to waive his no-trade and go to Portland, but right now, that’s not something Melo’s considering.”

“You look at the infrastructure in Portland of CJ McCollum, Dame Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic in the middle, [and] Carmelo on that team in Portland? Portland feels like, ‘You plug Melo into our team, we’re as good as anyone outside of Golden State in the West.'”

“Sources tell me New York and Houston tried to pull Portland into a three-way, potentially a four-way deal,” he said. “Portland does not have any interest in helping Houston, a conference rival, get Carmelo Anthony.”

Though the likelihood of Anthony waiving his no-trade clause for Portland is apparently next to nil, it’s certainly an interesting thought-experiment for Blazers fans. The ideal scenario for any team involved in the Melo sweepstakes is that they’ll get the Olympic version of him, a souped-up catch-and-shoot swing-man who doesn’t have to do much else. With Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in the backcourt, the pressure would certainly be off of Anthony to create, and McCollum has tried to do his part to send the message that Anthony should join them.

But even if Melo were willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Blazers, Portland would have a hard time convincing the Knicks to saddle themselves with likely multiple terrible contracts (then again, we are talking about the Knicks). And let’s not even get into the issue of whether he, let alone his wife La La, would want to move to Portland (the place where I personally live and enjoy very much that might as well be Siberia for a celebrity like Melo, especially after living in New York).

Still, it’s nice to know the Blazers took their moon-shot when they had a chance.