NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Carmelo Anthony said Friday he knows "for a fact" the Knicks won't trade him, and said he would be open to staying in New York for less than a maximum contract.
Anthony has said he plans to become a free agent this summer. The NBA's trade deadline is Thursday, but Anthony ruled out any chance the Knicks would move him to avoid the possibility they could lose him for nothing in July.
"I know for a fact I'm not being traded," Anthony said at the NBA's All-Star weekend. "There's two things: I know for a fact I'm not being traded and I'm not going in there and saying I want to be traded."
New York can pay him around $30 million more than any team, but Anthony said he wouldn't insist on making the Knicks do it.
"As far as the money, it don't really matter to me. If I go somewhere else I get paid, if I stay in New York I get paid," Anthony said. "So as far as the money goes, that's not my concern. My concern is being able to compete on a high level, at a championship level coming at this last stretch of my career."
The Knicks aren't doing it now. They are 20-32, one of the league's biggest disappointments after winning the Atlantic Division last season, and are wasting a strong season by Anthony that has him ranked second in the league with 27.3 points per game while also averaging 8.6 rebounds.
The Knicks need plenty more, and it will be tough to get because they are already so far over the salary cap. Not having to pay Anthony all of the more than $120 million he would be eligible for could help.