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Portland Trail Blazers star guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have attempted to recruit Carmelo Anthony to join them, according to a report from Jason Quick of Comcast Sportsnet.
Multiple reports have indicated Anthony has no desire to waive his no-trade clause for any teams other than Houston and Cleveland, neither of which have offered deals that make sense to the Knicks front office up to this point.
The Trail Blazers have tried to insert themselves into the mix and their dynamic backcourt is doing its part to convince Anthony to come to Portland.
“I spoke to him,’’ Lillard told Comcast Sports. “Because obviously he makes us a better team. So obviously with that being out there and being a real possibility, I don’t see why I wouldn’t reach out to him and let him know the interest is mutual if he is interested in us. I’m not going to share all (of Anthony’s response). We had the conversation about it because it’s something we need to talk about, so he knows it’s not something that just a team (is interested) … it was myself and CJ would love to have him, so we reached out to him, texted him, that’s it.’’
McCollum and Anthony share the same trainer and the shooting guard relayed his message through their mutual friend to let Anthony know he shares the same sentiments as Lillard.
The Canton native will be in New York on Thursday to train and plans to “say hello” to Anthony, if he’s there.
“If we get him … when we get him … I think we could be top three in the West, easy,’’ McCollum said. “I think he’s interested. Obviously I feel he wants to play with his team – the Banana Boat friends. I know he wants to play with CP (Chris Paul) and LeBron, and those are good options, but I feel we are a good option.’’
Lillard also feels adding Anthony would make the Blazers legitimate contenders in the heavyweight-filled Western Conference.
“He’s Carmelo Anthony,’’ Lillard said. “You add another guy who can score 50. Over the last decade, he’s been one of best players in the league. Playing against him he’s a cerebral player. He’s smart. He played in the triangle. I can only imagine what it would be like to have him isolating on one side, and CJ in the corner, and me in opposite wing and Nurk on the opposite … I could only imagine how tough it would be to guard us.
“I want to win a championship. It’s that simple. After my rookie year I’ve been in the playoffs every year and the playoffs are fun … but at this point we need a breakthrough. I’m tired of watching … each year it bothers me more.’’
While Cleveland and Houston still appear to be the more likely destinations, you can’t blame Lillard and McCollum for trying to bring more talent to their team, which was swept by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs in 2017 – one year after an making an impressive run in the 2015-16 season and playoffs.