If there were even a speck of doubt that Carmelo Anthony no longer is in the Knicks’ plans, it was swept away Thursday by new general manager Scott Perry.
In a post on The Official MSG Blog, Perry singled out the five players who make up the core of the Knicks’ rebuild: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez, Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker.
Though it’s no secret that the Knicks want to trade Anthony, their highest-paid and highest-scoring player, he still is a member of the team and is scheduled to be on hand for what could be a very uncomfortable media day on Monday.
“There are no shortcuts,” Perry wrote. “Reshaping the Knicks as a championship contender will be a step-by-step process, and along the way the plan will demand patience, as our young core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez, Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker mature.”
The Knicks have failed to make the playoffs since they went 54-28 and reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2012-13. The past three seasons under former team president Phil Jackson were particularly demoralizing for fans as the team went 80-166 and ran a triangle offense that few besides Jackson seemed to understand.
“The Knicks team I envision is filled with players who lift one another’s game — a goal that animated the discussions I had with Knicks president Steve Mills both before and after I came aboard,” Perry wrote.
“Talent is crucial, but talent without will won’t get you far. If my team’s makeup is to attack all loose balls and win that battle more than our opponent, only then will I be satisfied. That’s the kind of club I want to construct, the sort of team I’d pay to watch.”
After Jackson was fired in June, Mills was shifted to team president and Perry was hired as the general manager. Mills, Perry and coach Jeff Hornacek are scheduled to speak to the media Friday, and Anthony’s status with the team undoubtedly will be among the questions asked.
Anthony reportedly has been most interested in going to Houston to join James Harden and Chris Paul, but ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported on “First Take” that the Rockets and Knicks haven’t spoken about Anthony for weeks.
Anthony has not participated in voluntary workouts with the team in Greenburgh this summer but has invited individual players to work with him at his gym in Manhattan.
The Knicks also could shed some light on the mindset of Porzingis, who was so unhappy at the end of last season that he blew off his exit interview.