Will New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony ever be willing to waive his no-trade clause for a team other than the Houston Rockets?
Perhaps, if you ask Portland Trail Blazers standout point guard Damian Lillard.
It’s no secret Lillard and Blazers running-mate C.J. McCollum have been actively recruiting Anthony. It’s no secret Anthony and the Knicks would like to part ways.
But Anthony has a year left on his contract, and the right to determine where he will be traded next — or perhaps to not be traded at all.
Now, Lillard is saying he spoke with Anthony, and that Anthony may be open to the idea of the Blazers, after all.
“I didn’t want to press (Anthony),” Lillard told The Undefeated. “I ain’t a big fan of doing all the extra recruiting and all that stuff. And I guess they call it tampering or whatever. It’s not against the rules for us to interact with each other. We all peers, we all play in the same league and everybody hints at playing with each other. ‘What you think about this?’ ‘What do you think about that?’ All that matters is whether it got done or did not get done. Or hasn’t got done, and it hasn’t got done. So, it is what it is.”
Again, Anthony appears to favor the Rockets — who recently acquired All-Star point guard Chris Paul, a close friend.
But as NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said on a recent podcast, the Rockets don’t really have anything the Knicks want in return.
“Houston, right now, just does not have a pathway to do a direct deal with New York based on what New York wants,” Wojnarowski said. “Melo has not really waived the no-trade — he’s not really open — maybe that happens. I think New York is hoping he opens this up. Portland would love for Melo to open this up.”
Anthony to the Blazers? Hey, maybe it shouldn’t totally be brushed aside.
“I’m not giving up on anything,” Lillard said. “I just think I’ve done what I can do. And camp is a few weeks away. And you have to focus on getting ready with who we are, plan on going in as we are. Whatever changes, the front office will be the ones making that change, with the Knicks and our front office or whatever. But I get my mind focused on what I can control at a certain point.”
Anthony, 33, averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 74 games last season.