Portland Trail Blazers star PG Damian Lillard admitted to having a hard time recruiting Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony to waive his no-trade clause.
This offseason, several teams have tried to lure Anthony to waive his no-trade clause to join their team including the Blazers. However, Lillard told The Undefeated that it is hard to change Melo's mind.
"I didn't want to press him," Lillard said. "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."
Anthony is reportedly only willing to waive his no-trade clause to join PG Chris Paul and SG James Harden on the Houston Rockets. However, there has been little talks about the trade coming to fruition with F Ryan Anderson being the focal point for the trade. His contract of $60 million over three years is too hefty for the Knicks to take on.
So, with the trade still not happening as the Knicks approach training camp, Lillard still has his mind open. He hopes Melo does as well.
"I'm not giving up on anything. I just think I've done what I can do," Lillard said. "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."
Blazers SG C.J. McCollum has also been an advocate to draw Melo out west telling SiriusXM radio in July, "If we add Carmelo Anthony, we'll be a top three team in the West immediately."
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Carmelo Anthony has his mind set in stone on going to the Rockets. Chris Paul is one of his best friends in the NBA. James Harden is a superstar and nearly won the NBA MVP. His chances, at least in the short term, to win an NBA title are far more superior in Houston than in Portland. The Trail Blazers roster doesn't jump out as a contender for a championship, and that is what Anthony is looking for without having to go to play with LeBron James or the Warriors.
Lillard and C.J. McCollum could leave Melo voicemails every day and text him all they want. He's not going to change his mind. The Rockets are just the better spot for him and the better fit for getting what he wants. He also gets to play in Houston, not Portland. No knock on Portland, but it isn't the city that NBA stars want to play in. Houston has it all, including Harden's jersey retired in the strip club hall of fame.
The issue will continue to be that there isn't much of a package right now that intrigues the Knicks. I've said it over and over…if the trade doesn't include Eric Gordon or Trevor Ariza, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the Knicks, because those are the only significant pieces outside of draft picks they should want. Sorry Dame, but it may be time to give up on the Melo recruiting train.