The latest news surrounding the ongoing drama between the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony is that — despite the trade talks being on hold at the moment — the All-Star forward still expects a deal to get done.
With Carmelo reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause only for a deal to the Rockets or Cavaliers, and the Cavs seemingly out of the sweepstakes, everyone expects that if (likely, when) the deal happens, Melo will be a Rocket.
One team in the Pacific Northwest, however, is hoping to change that perception. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, the Portland Trail Blazers are hopeful Carmelo will waive his no-trade clause to join their squad. Via ESPN:
One of the teams that New York and Houston had hoped would facilitate a multiteam trade for Anthony — the Portland Trail Blazers — plans to participate in a deal for Anthony only if he decides to expand his no-trade clause to include the Trail Blazers, league sources told ESPN.
Portland believes the addition of a player such as Anthony would furnish it with talent and depth comparable to those of the top Western Conference contenders, except for the Golden State Warriors, league sources said. Because of that, the Blazers have little, if any, inclination to facilitate an Anthony deal that would land him with a Western Conference rival such as Houston, league sources said.
It seems unlikely that Carmelo would be willing to accept a deal to Portland, as his willingness to leave New York at all is due to the possibility to play for a contender along with one of his good friends. (Chris Paul in Houston, LeBron James in Cleveland.)
However, it doesn’t hurt for Portland to try, as they need more talent and don’t really have a way to get any because of their salary-cap situation.