Asked About Carmelo Anthony Returning To Knicks, Jeff Hornacek Gives Tepid Response

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If Jeff Hornacek wants Carmelo Anthony back with the Knicks next season, he has a funny way of showing it.

Asked Tuesday if he’d like to see Anthony return, the Knicks coach gave an answer that came across as indifferent.

“I think it’s all his choice still with his contract,’’ Hornacek said, according to the New York Post. “Every year, until guys are gone, coaches we all assume we’ll have the same team. When something changes, we deal with it.’’

The Knicks tried to trade Anthony in February, but couldn’t work out a deal. They are expected again to try to move the 10-time All-Star this summer. Anthony, however, must first waive his no-trade clause, meaning the Knicks would have to find a trade partner the forward approves of.

Carmelo Anthony and Jeff Hornacek

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and coach Jeff Hornacek (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The 14-year veteran will sit out Wednesday’s season finale against the 76ers. He said earlier this month he’s looking forward to his season-ending meeting with team president Phil Jackson, where “the chips will be on the table”

Anthony, 32, also has said he sees “the writing on the wall,” although he hasn’t elaborated on what that means exactly.

MORE: Schmeelk: Real Change For Knicks Starts With Moving On From Melo, Rose

Hornacek suggested that if Anthony is back in New York next season, he will have to step up more as a leader, especially considering the Knicks are trying to develop younger players, most notably big man Kristaps Porzingis.

[graphiq id=”e0CxwtSxPJX” title=”Carmelo Anthony Season Stats by Year” width=”600″ height=”778″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/e0CxwtSxPJX” ]

“If he’s back in that veteran leadership role, he’s really got to take it and help the guys out,” Hornacek said. “We’ll have a lot of young guys out there.”

In 73 games this season, Anthony has averaged 22.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

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