PORTLAND, Ore. -- The only version of a Carmelo Anthony trade that would interest the Blazers would be one that brings the 10-time All-Star to Portland, according to a report Saturday by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowksi.
In order for that to happen, Anthony would need to expand his list of teams for which he'd waive his no-trade clause. Currently, that list includes two teams: Houston and Cleveland. There has been no indication Anthony is willing to add any more teams to that list, though the Knicks are hopeful he will.
This becomes a real test for Blazers star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Do they have enough star clout to convince Anthony to sign off on a trade to Portland? McCollum seems game, at least if his Instagram account is an indication. He posted a photo of Anthony in a Trail Blazers uniform Sunday morning.
If Anthony could be convinced to accept a trade to the Blazers, could Portland's front office make it happen? Here's a look at what it might take.
First, it's important to consider Anthony's current team. What do the New York Knicks want in return for Anthony, and considering the leverage they have, what can they realistically expect in return?
If the Knicks trade Anthony, they are looking at rebuilding around Kristaps Porzingis, one of the brightest young stars in the game. The common building blocks of a rebuild are draft picks and young talent with valuable cost-controlled contracts.
The Knicks' leverage is weakened by the control Anthony has over the process with his no-trade clause. In addition, Anthony has an early termination option on his contract at the end of this season, so he's potentially a one-year rental. His age (33) and mileage (almost 38,000 career minutes) also lessen his trade value.
A realistic return for the Knicks would be a first-round draft pick, an inexpensive, cost-controlled starter and whatever salaries are needed to match Anthony's contract (between $26 and $32 million, depending on whether Anthony would be willing to waive his 15-percent trade kicker).
Here are three trade ideas that could work to bring Anthony to Portland.
Maurice Harkless, Ed Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu for Anthony
The Knicks have shown interest in Harkless before, so the centerpiece for the Knicks would be Harkless. To make the salaries match up, the Blazers would send Davis, whose contract expires at the end of this season, and Aminu, who has a valuable contract that will pay him about $14 million over the next two seasons.
Maurice Harkless, Ed Davis, Meyers Leonard, 2018 first-round pick for Anthony
The Knicks again get the player they want in Harkless. Davis is included for salary matching purposes. And if the Knicks were willing to take on the remaining three years and approximately $30 million left on Leonard's contract, the Blazers would throw in their 2018 first-round draft pick.
Maurice Harkless, Allen Crabbe, 2018 first- and second-round draft picks for Anthony
Harkless is the one constant in all these trades. There was been too much chatter about the Knicks' interest in the Blazers' small forward to exclude him. Crabbe's value as an elite 3-point shooter with defensive potential is offset by his large salary, which is why the Blazers include two draft picks in this potential trade.
Jared Cowley is a digital producer at KGW. Follow him on Twitter here.
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