GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Michael Beasley considers Carmelo Anthony a mentor, one of his best friends, and said he can’t wait to play with him.
It might not be a long-term partnership because the Knicks have tried to trade Anthony. But Beasley believes a team with him, Anthony and some of the Knicks’ other veterans could contend in the Eastern Conference.
“If Tim Hardaway Jr., Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and myself [are on the roster], those are four guys that can score 25 points per game,” Beasley said Tuesday morning at the Knicks’ practice facility. “Then you add in Lance Thomas, Kyle O’Quinn, Joakim Noah — let’s not forget about that All- Star . . . I think we’ve got a position to be not only a playoff team but a five, six seed team if we do it right.”
When Beasley signed a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, he was viewed as a potential replacement for Anthony. But Beasley, who patterned his game after Anthony’s and called himself “literally Carmelo on the left side of the floor,” said Knicks officials never talked to him about replacing the perennial All-Star.
“I don’t watch anybody else’s saga but my own,” Beasley said. “I’m coming in to the Knicks and I’m looking forward to playing with Carmelo. Anything else is the organization and the coaches and him. But I’m actually looking forward to having a great year with Melo and finally being in the playoffs.”
Beasley, 28, said he has played pickup games with Anthony at his gym this summer, along with other Knicks. The 6-9 Beasley has slimmed down 20 pounds, and hopes that helps him be quicker and have more energy. He also hopes he gets the chance to stay on the court.
The No. 2 overall pick in 2008 behind former Knick Derrick Rose, Beasley believes he can be one of the top players in the league if he gets more playing time. He’s averaged 12.6 points in 23.5 minutes per game in nine seasons for the Heat, Timberwolves, Suns, Rockets and Bucks.
“I still think I have a chance to be one of the best in the NBA,” Beasley said. “I’m your favorite player’s favorite player. And it’s not enough for me for him to know that. I want the world to know that. So I’m still working hard as if I can be the best ever.
“Every year my [points] per 36 [minutes] has been top of the league. And still everybody looks at me as a bust. I just want an opportunity to play more than 15 minutes. And you know if I play more than 15 minutes I’m going to score more than 15 points. And if I can do that for 82 games, that’s an All-Star level.
“I just want the respect I deserve. Not for what I can do in the future but what I’ve done in the past. And I just want a fair opportunity, a fair chance, a fair shot to play basketball.”
Notes & quotes: New Knicks point guard Jarrett Jack said Jeff Hornacek has talked with him about running a faster-paced offense and that there has been no mention of triangle principles. “If there are, he hasn’t implemented them yet,” Jack said. “So far it’s a lot of much more fast-paced offense, moving, cutting, more ball movement. From what I understand, that’s the crux of it for now.” . . . Jack said at least 15 players have been working out at the team’s facility, but Anthony hasn’t been one of them.