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Blazers Stars Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum Have Reached Out To Carmelo Anthony

The Rockets are the main franchise after New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, but the Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as a surprise contender.

Carmelo Anthony was (stupidly) given a no-trade clause by Phil Jackson when he resigned with the Knicks in 2014. It has made it incredibly difficult for the Knicks to find a suitor that can take Anthony, give the team adequate value in return, and please the star forward.

The Houston Rockets, which now employee Anthony's good friend Chris Paul, have been the team most consistently cited as a potential trade partner, but the Knicks are probably reluctant to take Ryan Anderson's bloated three-year contract back in return. Late last week, reports emerged that the Knicks are now trying to "reincorporate" Anthony back into the franchise, but he has his mind set on Houston.

On Sunday, Portland entered the fray as a possible alternate destination for Anthony. Star guard CJ McCollum posted a photoshop of Anthony in a Blazers jersey to Instagram, and now he and running mate Damian Lillard have reportedly reached out to sell Anthony on signing off on a potential deal to Portland.

From The Oregonian's Joe Freeman:

Portland definitely has more attractive contracts to dump than Houston, and could pair them with young players and potential draft picks.

A core of Lillard, McCollum, Anthony, and center Jusuf Nurkic would be pretty imposing. I don't think it would be nearly enough to truly challenge the Golden State Warriors, but realistically, there doesn't seem to be a team truly positioned to do that.

Of course, this hinges on Anthony wanting to head to the Pacific Northwest, which is a major question, but if he really wants out of New York no matter what, it may be easier for the Blazers to facilitate a deal than Houston. And a team with firepower like Lillard, McCollum, and Anthony would be a blast to watch.