Dame Lillard says Carmelo Anthony didn't seem opposed to potential trade to Blazers

When rumors were swirling this summer about where Carmelo Anthony might be traded, Blazers guard Damian Lillard felt good about where Portland stood when his team bubbled up as a potential suitor.

Although reports this summer indicated it was likely Houston or bust for the 10-time All-Star, Lillard was confident his Blazers would have been a landing spot Anthony would have made work, telling The Undefeated that Anthony "didn't seem opposed" to the idea of ending up in Portland. 

"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, now 33, is on the back-end of his prime but still has several years remaining on his contract. And although it's clear he wants to start anew for a potential contender rather than play out his time with a rebuilding Knicks franchise, Anthony's no-trade clause in his contract gives him the power in those negotiations -- which never wound up leading to anything more than speculation this summer.

Recruiting Anthony certainly can't hurt the cause, all things considered. But wooing Anthony and convincing him to waive his no-trade clause is one thing -- two teams agreeing on equal compensation to complete a deal is a whole different beast entirely.

Lillard says he's not giving up on the hopes of bringing in Anthony, but at this point he's getting locked in for Portland's quickly approaching fall camp.

"I'm not giving up on anything," Lillard said. "I just think I've done what I can do. 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."

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