Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN.com is reporting that the Trail Blazers are not all interested in being a third team in a deal that would facilitate a trade of Carmelo Anthony to Houston.
And that they're actually interested in going after Anthony:
One of the teams that New York and Houston had hoped would facilitate a multi-team trade for Anthony -- the Portland Trail Blazers -- only plans to participate in a deal for Anthony if he decides to expand his no-trade clause to include the Trail Blazers, league sources told ESPN.
Outside of Golden State, 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, 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.
A deal for Anthony is much different than adding Ryan Anderson -- the rumored trade piece in the proposed three-team deal. Yes, Anthony has struggled in New York -- but who wouldn't? That franchise is a hot mess.
But I always liked the Melo who was one of the most reliable and unselfish players on the U.S. national team. I believe that with a stable franchise, with a coach who gives his players freedom the way Terry Stotts does, with teammates the caliber of the ones he'd have here, Carmelo Anthony would be a terrific piece on a contending team. And along with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, that's a pretty formidable foundation for a solid team.
The Trail Blazers would immediately thrust themselves into that cluster of teams right behind the Warriors. I'd make that deal in a New York minute.
Problem is, there may be no deal to make. Anthony has a no-trade clause and he's willing to waive it for Houston or Cleveland. Could he be talked into including Portland on his list of approved destinations? I would doubt it. It simply has to be a long shot.
But I'd be all in on the effort. This is a move worth making.