Carmelo Anthony can become a free agent after the upcoming season, but he gave the strongest indication yet that his plan is to re-sign with the Knicks.
"I'm not going nowhere," Anthony said during an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers."
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Anthony is due to make $23.3 million in the 2014-15 season. If he were to opt out, the Lakers likely would pursue him, but the Knicks can offer him significantly more. Under the collective bargaining agreement, the most the Lakers could offer is four years and roughly $96 million. Anthony could get a maximum five-year contract worth about $129 million from the Knicks, who can start negotiating with him in February.
Money aside, Anthony pushed for the February 2011 trade from Denver to be in the spotlight and try to help the Knicks win their first championship since 1973. He led them to 54 wins last season and their first Atlantic Division title in 19 years, but they lost to Indiana in the second round.
Anthony, 29, remains hungry to carry the Knicks to a title.
"That is one of the reasons why I wanted to come here to New York, just so I could take on those pressures and those challenges,'' Anthony said. "A lot of people do not like to deal with the pressure. A lot of people do not know how to deal with the challenges they face. To me, it is everyday life.''
But Anthony doesn't want his future or free agency to be an everyday discussion. He told The Associated Press at a Sept. 11 charity event Wednesday that he would not address either issue during the season. "I'm just not going to do it,'' he said. "I'm going to let everybody know the first day that I'm not going to talk about it.''
The Knicks were the No. 2 seed in the East last season behind eventual NBA champion Miami, but they lost leaders Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace. Their big offseason pickups were Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih.
The Knicks could take a step backward, especially with the Nets, Bulls and Pacers improved, but Anthony doesn't think so.
"I actually see this team being better than last year,'' he said Tuesday at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit. "That's just my opinion, that's the way that we feel. And if we feel that way as a unit, then there's nothing that can come between us.''
Notes & quotes: The Knicks signed guards Toure' Murry and Chris Smith (J.R.'s brother) to non-guaranteed deals. They want to add another big man because Jeremy Tyler is out 8-10 weeks after foot surgery last week.
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