Amar'e Stoudemire

Amar'e Stoudemire Credit: Getty Images

When Amar’e Stoudemire lights it up, it makes one wonder what the Knicks would be like with Carmelo Anthony next to him.

As Stoudemire once again led the Knicks out of danger with a 41-point showing in a 117-103 win over the 76ers, the Anthony-to-New York rumors continued to swirl. An ESPN report had the Knicks ready to ship Wilson Chandler to Denver, and Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph to Minnesota in a three-way deal. But before tip-off, general manager Donnie Walsh brushed off the report, while hinting to reporters that his patience with the Anthony issue could extend to offseason free agency.

Still, he said he plans to continue looking into a trade situation that can be characterized as cloudy at best. Anthony wants out of Denver, but the Nuggets have continually upped their compensation demands.

“We have a better feeling for what’s going to happen,” Walsh told the Daily News. “If you get something that will help your team, then you get excited. It hasn’t come to the point I’m excited.”

He seems resolute in keeping Danilo Gallinari and rookie Landry Fields, whose 25 points and 10 rebounds complemented Stoudemire’s performance.

If Stoudemire continues what he did in raising the Knicks to 26-24, maybe they can afford to wait. He missed just four of 21 shots, and hit all seven free throws and tied a season scoring high 36 hours after the Knicks collapsed in the fourth quarter in Philadelphia.

It also marked a huge personal turnaround for Stoudemire, who failed to score in the second half of the Knicks’ loss to Dallas, their last home game before Sunday.

Landing Anthony would of course make the Knicks immediate playoff contenders, at least on paper. But Walsh is determined not to give up the franchise’s entire future for immediate gain. It does appear that Randolph will be traded by the Feb. 25 deadline.

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