C.J. McCollum uses Instagram to recruit Carmelo Anthony to Portland Trail Blazers

By Alex Butler  |  July 17, 2017 at 9:22 AM
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July 17 (UPI) -- C.J. McCollum needed no caption for his Sunday Instagram post, featuring New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony in a Portland Trail Blazers jersey.

The image alone spoke loudly enough.

The Trail Blazers shooting guard joined other NBA stars in attempting to court the 10-time All-Star. Anthony, 33, appeared to be on the fast track to James Harden's Houston Rockets, before the Knicks halted trade talks with the Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers last week.

League sources told ESPN that the Knicks put the talks on pause and wanted to discuss Anthony staying with the franchise. League sources told ESPN Sunday that Anthony expects the Knicks to still trade him to Houston.

Anthony is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to Cleveland or Houston, but it is unknown if he would do so to go to Portland.

A source close to the trade talks with the Rockets told the New York Post that Knicks acting president Steve Mills wants to meet with Anthony to see where he is at mentally and hopes that the perennial All-Star decides to "open up his wish list beyond the Rockets and Cavaliers."

ESPN reported that the Blazers would only be willing to help make a trade possible involving Anthony if they were the franchise receiving to superstar.

A post shared by CJMcCollum (@3jmccollum) on

McCollum, 25, is entering his fourth NBA season. He averaged a career-best 23 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game last season while shooting a career-high 91 percent from the free throw line for the Blazers. Portland posted a 41-41 record last season, good for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors swept the Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Since their 54-win season in 2013, the Blazers have won fewer games every year. The franchise won 51 games in 2014 and 44 games in 2015 before last season's decline. The Blazers haven't advanced past the conference semifinals since the 1999 season. The Knicks (31-51) haven't won more than 37 games since the 2012 season. New York also hasn't advanced past the conference semifinals since the 1999 season.

McCullum was the 2015-2016 NBA Most Improved Player. The Blazers currently have Moe Harkless playing at the No. 3 spot. The Blazers ranked No. 8 in points scored last season.

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