PORTLAND, Ore. — Carmelo Anthony and the Portland Trail Blazers is the offseason NBA story that refuses to die.
Mainly because the Blazers won't let it.
Let's quickly recap how this ever-changing story, which began all the way back on July 6, has unfolded over the past month.
- The Blazers are mentioned as a third team in a potential trade that would send Anthony to the Houston Rockets.
- ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Blazers aren't interested in facilitating anything unless it's to bring Anthony to Portland.
- Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum shares an image of Anthony in a Blazers uniform on his Instagram account.
- Wojnarowski says Anthony isn't interested in waiving his no-trade clause for Portland "right now."
- McCollum and Blazers star guard Damian Lillard say they both reached out to Anthony about coming to Portland. Lillard says it's a "real possibility." McCollum says he thinks Carmelo is "interested."
- John Canzano reports a source close to Anthony told him the Knicks' star is uninterested in Portland because it's too far away from his son, who lives in New York.
- Media reports continue to indicate that the only team Anthony will waive his no-trade clause for is the Houston Rockets.
Then on Tuesday, Blazers forward Evan Turner weighed in, bringing the Blazers back into the story and adding another chapter to the narrative.
Turner was at Coppin State in Baltimore on Tuesday for The Basketball Tournament, an annual, high-profile 5-on-5 single-elimination tournament sponsored and hosted by Anthony, who grew up in Baltimore.
As a player he’d love things. The crowd’s crazy. There’s a special crowd in Portland where if we have the right pieces, we can make a lot happen. — Evan Turner, Blazers forward on Carmelo Anthony
The Blazers forward spoke to the media at the event on Tuesday, saying that Lillard calling Anthony to sell him on Portland was "a great first step to entice him."
Turner wasn't done. He said if Anthony was willing to commit to Portland, it would be a great fit.
"If he waives it and wants to come, it would be great," Turner said. "He’ll lock in because he made the decision to come. He’s got all the power in a certain sense. It’s not a guarantee. The positive is if we did get him, that means he wanted to be there and accepted the trade and buckle into what we’re trying to do. Obviously he’s 6-8. He walks in a gym and he can throw 20 points up in the books. He’s so talented, so big, you can’t leave him alone. He doesn’t miss easy shots.”
Anthony would bring a new level of celebrity to Portland, Turner said. And for what it's worth, Turner said Anthony would fall in love with the city.
"I can’t imagine Melo in Portland just because he’d stick out walking down the street — he’s Melo, a celebrity," Turner said. “As a player he’d love things. The crowd’s crazy. There’s a special crowd in Portland where if we have the right pieces, we can make a lot happen."
In June, Turner answered a question about Anthony on his always entertaining Twitter feed, saying he'd help Lillard and McCollum a lot.
Yea I think he would help dame and cj a lot. That would be tough https://t.co/aIjYTl5eC2— Evan Turner (@thekidet) June 15, 2017
On Wednesday morning, Anthony was at the tournament and spoke to the media for the first time since the end of the regular season. As has been the case through this whole ordeal, Anthony himself had little to say about his future.
The Knicks' star forward said the last 12 months in New York have been "an emotional roller coaster." In his first interview since the season ended, he said he's "at peace" but unsure if he'll remain a Knick.
When asked about the Rockets, Anthony's preferred destination, he said, "You know I can't comment on that," and smiled.
Jared Cowley is a digital producer at KGW. Follow him on Twitter here.
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