The Portland Trail Blazers have remained in the hunt for Carmelo Anthony. NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Blazers’ executives are still hopeful trade negotiations with the New York Knicks will take place before the start of training camp.

The Blazers have a stash of several draft picks and players to use as trade bait if the Knicks finally decide to sell the All-Star forward. Wojnarowski considers Portland a ‘sleeper team’ in the Melo sweepstakes with the Houston Rockets still the overwhelming favorites to land him.

Woj credited the Blazers’ emergence as a dark horse trade destination for Carmelo to Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum, who both have done a great job recruiting the veteran swingman.

He added Portland might convince Anthony to waive his no no-trade clause, should they pursue a trade for him.

"But if they could [come up with a trade package that appeals the Knicks], then that’s a sleeper team in this to get Carmelo to waive his no-trade because I’m told they’ve piqued Carmelo’s interest at the very least," Wojnarowski said during a podcast session on the Ryan Russillo Show.

Potential trade package for Anthony

The only reason why the Rockets can’t snatch Anthony out of New York up to now is the Knicks have no interest in acquiring Ryan Anderson and his bloated salary of $60 million over three years. Houston is having difficulty finding a conduit party that will facilitate the blockbuster three-team trade.

The Blazers, on the other hand, can offer several trade package combinations without needing a third team. They can offer veterans like Evan Turner ($17M per year), Moe Harkless ($10M) and cheap wing-stopper Al-Farouq Aminu ($7M). Upside player Meyers Leonard ($9M per year) and perhaps a first-round pick could also be included to make the Blazers’ trade package more appealing.

Stumbling block for Blazers to get Melo

The biggest competition for the Blazers to acquire the All-Star forward is none other than Rockets. Many believe Melo would only waive his no-trade clause if he’s traded to either Houston or Portland. The Cleveland Cavaliers, another aggressive trade suitor for Anthony, are no longer an intriguing destination for the All-Star because of the uncertainty surrounding LeBron James’ upcoming free-agency.

Wojnarowski also stated that both the Knicks and the Rockets are prepared for the fact that Anthony will likely go to camp with the Knicks later this month. After all, the Knicks are trying to convince their franchise player to stay put. Anthony has two years remaining on his current deal (including this coming season) with a player’s option for the 2018-19 season.