Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum Say Carmelo Anthony Is Interested in Joining Blazers

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2017

PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 13: Damian Lillard #0 talks with C.J. McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on February 13, 2017 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum aren't shying away from making an aggressive pitch—and breaking the NBA's tampering rulesin attempt to persuade Carmelo Anthony to join the Portland Trail Blazers

Speaking to reporters at Lillard's basketball camp Wednesday, the Blazers backcourt duo said they believe Anthony is interested in making a move to the Pacific Northwest based on conversations they've had with the 10-time All-Star.  

While McCollum said he thinks Anthony is "interested," according to the Oregonian's Joe Freeman, Lillard went so far as to say it's "a real possibility" that Anthony could bolt for Portland, per Rip City Radio's Jay Allen

"Hashtag Free Melo," McCollum added, according to Blazers.com's Casey Holdahl. "If we add Anthony, we'll be a top-three team in the West immediately," said McCollum, per SiriusXM NBA Radio

ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the Blazers were interested in participating in a multiteam trade centered around Anthony, but only if he landed in Portland since they don't have an "inclination to facilitate an Anthony deal that would land him with a Western Conference rival such as Houston."

Appearing on ESPN's The Jump Monday (h/t KGW's Jared Cowley), Wojnarowski provided an update and said that while players like McCollum and Lillard have been trying to recruit Anthony to the Blazers, the 33-year-old doesn't have a desire to join them yet. 

"Portland's players are reaching out to Melo," Wojnarowski said. "Portland would love to get involved in this and become a team that Melo would consider. ... They would like for Carmelo to waive his no-trade and go to Portland, but right now, that's not something Melo's considering."

Anthony has reportedly been willing to waive his no-trade clause if the New York Knicks can facilitate a trade that sends him either to the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers