NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony knows that there is a possibility that the Knicks may look to trade him again this offseason.
“They might,” he said after the Knicks’ season finale on Wednesday. “They might.”
New York spoke to multiple teams about trades involving Anthony prior to the February trade deadline and Anthony said on Wednesday that he seriously considered waiving his no-trade clause before the deadline.
“There was a point in time when I didn’t think I would be back here,” he said.
Anthony will meet with Knicks president Phil Jackson, general manager Steve Mills and head coach Jeff Hornacek on Thursday to discuss his future as part of traditional player exit meetings.
Anthony says he’d “love” to remain in New York but wants to make sure that the club is committed to winning next season. The Knicks have lost at least 50 games in each of the past three seasons and may choose rebuild the roster around Kristaps Porzingis rather than trying to win immediately with veteran imports, as they did this past season.
“If everybody’s committed to (winning), I’m committed to that too,” Anthony said. “I want to win and hopefully everybody else has that same type of mindset.”
Anthony scored 15 points in 23 minutes in the Knicks’ season finale and said afterward that he wasn’t sure if it was his last game as a Knick.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know. I’ll know more in the upcoming weeks or so,” he said. “…. I’m pretty sure the organization has an idea, a thought of what they want to do, how they want to do it,” he said. “But at this point it’s all on me.”
If Jackson tells Anthony that the Knicks are looking to rebuild, the 32-year-old veteran said he’d ‘respect it’ and would take that into account when deciding about his future.
“I have to figure it out at that point,” said Anthony, who has two years remaining on the five-year $124 million contact he signed in 2014. “…. It would have to be a decision I really sit down and think about and figure it out. I’m going to have to do a lot of figuring things out right now, sit down with my team, sit down with my family, really figure this out, kind of really put what’s important to me at this point in my career, which is winning.”
Anthony also said that he looked forward to having direct communication with Jackson during his exit meeting. Jackson conveyed what many perceived as an indirect criticism of Anthony prior to the trade deadline when he tweeted about a column that was critical of the 10-time All Star.
Anthony acknowledged that it was “hard to trust” Jackson after the team president’s veiled criticisms earlier in the season.
“If somebody was talking bad about you indirectly at your job, what would you do? You would feel a certain way,” he said. “You would want that person to come straightforward with you. And I feel the same way. I’m always open – I’m a very honest person. I know the business and I know the game and I know how it works. So if it’s something that you want to get across, a message that you want to get across, I’ve always been open.”
Anthony ended up playing in the Knicks’ finale after Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said he assumed he wouldn’t a day before. Anthony said that he always planned to play in the game, contradicting his coach.
Anthony didn’t play in the fourth quarter of the game, but fans at Madison Square Garden chanted “We want Melo” in the closing minutes.
“It felt good. It’s been a while,” Anthony, who has been booed at times this season, said. “It’s been a while to sit there and hear that.”