As Anthony’s name continues to be the hottest topic among NBA circles despite the fact that he’s been a free agent since February — and hasn’t played in a game since last November — one Western Conference powerhouse won’t be interested in the 10-time All-Star moving forward.
Here is a transcript of what Lillard said in the video.
“No. Two years ago I tried to get Melo to come to Portland. And he went to Oklahoma City, then after that I tried to get him to come to Portland again and he went to Houston. So, at this point, the team or me, he ain’t coming over here. He deserves to be in the league, but he ain’t coming here.”
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The Blazers Tried Hard to Acquire Carmelo Anthony
Back in 2017, it was very clear the Blazers wanted to acquire Anthony — who was under contract with the New York Knicks at the time. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN had reported that the Blazers were interested in acquiring Anthony because they believed he would lift them to the top of the conference — with the likes of the Golden State Warriors.
“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.”
However, despite the Blazers’ clear interest in Anthony, the 35-year-old veteran always seemed to rebuff their attempts at acquiring him.
Despite his less-than-stellar reputation around the league, Anthony had been a highly-coveted target over the past two years before his most recent fallout in Houston. When he was acquired by the Oklahoma City Thunder via trade in 2017, he was expected to be the final piece of the Thunder’s “Big Three” with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. The Thunder were expected to be championship contenders, but instead were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Anthony struggled to adapt and adjust to being a third offensive option as his playoff numbers every bit indicated it — he averaged just 11.8 points per game on 37.5 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc.
The veteran forward received another opportunity from a Western Conference contender banging down the door of winning a championship in the Houston Rockets — and he sputtered there after just 10 games.
Anthony Has New Pitch for Potential NBA Suitors
As my colleague Sean Deveney reports, Anthony is attempting to make one last comeback in the NBA with this pitch — he can take the media attention off of the star players on the team, in a good way.
“The second leg of the pitch Anthony is making to teams could prove to be appealing when it comes to those concerned that Anthony would be a locker-room distraction: He’s a good distraction.”
It remains to be seen where Anthony will make his NBA return, but the Blazers won’t be one of them.