BEAVERTON, Ore. — Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum both said they have reached out to New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony about waiving his no-trade clause to facilitate a trade to Portland.
Both Blazers guards were at Lillard's basketball camp in Beaverton on Wednesday. During a media availability, they answered questions about the Knicks' 10-time All-Star.
Lillard declined to share specific details of his conversation with Anthony, but he did say "it's a real possibility" that Anthony could join the Blazers.
"With that being out there and that being a real possibility, I don't see why I wouldn't reach out to him and let him know that the interest is mutual if he's interested in us," he said. "I don't think we'd be hearing about it as much if wasn't a possibility. That was part of the reason why I reached out to him."
McCollum said he has reached out to Anthony indirectly through a shared trainer. When asked how he thinks Anthony feels about the potential of playing for the Blazers, McCollum answered, "I think he's interested,"
McCollum also said he'll be training in New York this week and will see Anthony if he's there.
The speculation about Anthony to the Blazers began last week, when ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday that the Blazers, who had been mentioned in rumors as a third team in a potential deal sending Anthony to the Rockets, were only interested in trades that would land the Knicks' star in Portland.
McCollum added fuel to the fire when he posted a photo of Anthony in a Trail Blazers uniform to his Instagram account on Sunday.
On Monday, Wojnarowski said Blazers players had reached out to Anthony about waiving his no-trade clause for the Blazers but that Anthony wasn't considering Portland at the time.
Anthony has told the Knicks he does not want to return to the team next season and will waive his no-trade clause for the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers.
NBC Sports' Dan Feldman said Portland has the pieces to make a trade work.
At least the Trail Blazers make sense on paper for a trade. If the Knicks want to turn Anthony into smaller bad contracts for younger players, Portland has plenty of options – Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard. The Trail Blazers could also aggregate Maurice Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu and/or Ed Davis to match Anthony’s salary and provide New York with more value. There are enough potential permutations to believe there’s one viable for both teams.
Anthony has averaged 24.8 points and 6.6 rebounds during his career. Last season in New York, he averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
Lillard said adding Anthony to the Blazers makes sense.
"He's Carmelo Anthony. You add another guy that can go out there and score 50," he said. "I can only imagine what it would be like having him iso-ing on one side, and CJ in the corner and me on the opposite wing and Nurk on the opposite ... I can only imagine how hard it would be to guard us when it's already hard to guard us."
Jared Cowley is a digital producer at KGW. Follow him on Twitter here.
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