While the basketball fans of New York wait for either the Knicks or Carmelo Anthony to blink, the Portland Trail Blazers are still holding out hope.
Will Anthony, at some point, waive that no-trade to include more teams? Would the Trail Blazers be one of those teams?
At this point, nobody knows. But I will tell you this, if that door ever opens, I expect Portland to make every effort to charge through it.
But it won’t be easy. In fact, it’s going to be a very big job, considering the finances involved.
The Blazers will have to come up with a trade with the Knicks that is better than anyone else’s and yet doesn't’t completely decimate the Portland roster.
And that will be a huge challenge. The Trail Blazers are going to need to stack a lot of salaries on top of each other to come up to the dollar amount needed to make the deal permissible under league rules.
And the trick is to not give up so much that Anthony’s presence can’t make up for the loss of the departed players..
Portland's side of the trade must come within 125 percent of $34 million to make the thing work. That dollar figure is based on Anthony’s 2017-18 salary of roughly $26.2 million PLUS his trade kicker, which will amount to another $8 million, given that the final year of his contract is a player option.
And you need to match that amount without ending up with your cupboard bare.
Here are the Portland contracts for next season –- feel free to play the home version of “Let’s Make A Deal” to add them up to a workable total while not giving away so much that the team is mortally wounded.
As you see, it’s going to get very tricky. But I expect the Trail Blazers to come up with a viable offer and by sheer volume it may be better than any other team is willing to give for a player who will probably play just one season for it.
I would figure the refreshed New York front office to play this thing out, hoping Anthony will loosen his no-trade a bit as training camp nears. And I expect Anthony to hold tight for as long as he can to a Houston-only demand.
But at some point, one side will budge.
And so we wait.