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By dealing away Allen Crabbe, did Portland clear the way for a Carmelo Anthony trade?


NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers did some movin’ and groovin’ with their roster Tuesday, dealing Allen Crabbe and his massive salary to the Brooklyn Nets for Andrew Nicholson, who they apparently plan to waive using the stretch provision.

This deal saves Portland a whopping $16.5 million against next season’s salary cap. Why might that be important for the Knicks? Because the Blazers are still the most logical third party for any trade involving Carmelo Anthony going to the Houston Rockets. There was a great deal of noise in recent weeks that Portland hoped to get Melo themselves, but we all know there isn’t much to do once that dude makes up his mind.

This Crabbe move follows some buzz from former Blazers TV broadcaster Mike Rice that the front office might be softening their stance on making a deal without Melo.

It’s not Woj or Begley, but it’s not exactly nothing. The Blazers are now in a position to take on Ryan Anderson’s massive contract from Houston while picking up a sweetener from the Rockets and dumping some contracts on New York, hopefully including the very good 24-year-old Queens native, Moe Harkless. New York would probably have to take back a crappy deal (Meyers Leonard, perhaps).

Here’s an example of a deal, courtesy of Jared Dubin:

I would like another prospect type in that deal (like Noah Vonleh), but it’s a start.

So what are you waiting for, Portland? Let’s keep on dealin’!