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Carmelo Anthony wants Rajon Rondo on Knicks, according to their former coach

Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics controls the

Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics controls the ball against the Brooklyn Nets. (Dec. 25, 2012) Credit: Errol Anderson

Carmelo Anthony apparently has visions of taking passes from Rajon Rondo in a Knicks uniform.

Steve Smith, the high school coach of both Anthony and Rondo at Oak Hill Academy, told USA Today that Anthony is "recruiting" Rondo to join the Knicks. The Celtics guard will be a free agent in 2015.

"Whether he stays in Boston or not, who knows?" Smith said. "I know, talking to Melo, he's recruiting Rajon to come to New York. Melo thinks he'll come, too. You never know about that stuff, though."

Anthony will opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer. There have been rumblings that if the Knicks continue to lose or don't make a major trade to get him help, he could bolt. But Anthony has said he has made no decisions and that his first choice is to remain in New York.

If he is trying to bring in players, it could be a sign that Anthony is planning to stay.

"I don't want to talk about that," Anthony said. "In my book, it's tampering."

Rondo is rehabbing from a torn ACL. The Knicks have inquired about him, but Celtics president Danny Ainge has said he has no interest in trading him. If Ainge fears losing his star point guard, he might pull the trigger on something.

Rondo will make $11.9 million this season and $12.9 million in 2014-15, the last year of his deal. That summer, the contracts of Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani are to come off the Knicks' books.

A'mare takes a break

Stoudemire sat out Friday night's game because it was the second game of a back-to-back. He is expected to play against the Celtics on Sunday.

. . . Knicks coach Mike Woodson basically confirmed before the game that Metta World Peace is the 10th man in a nine-man rotation. World Peace seems to be fine with the plan: "When you're focused on winning, you don't have time to focus on minutes."

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