NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Finally, basketball facilities are open. NBA players are back.

Say it with us: YES!

But the big news focused on Chris Paul, who insisted this week that his heart was “in New Orleans.”

On Wednesday, Yahoo! Sports reported that Paul’s agent, Leon Rose, informed the Hornets that he wanted a trade to the Knicks.

Paul and Carmelo Anthony are friends who spent time together this summer and it’s long been speculated they wanted to play together, but Anthony denied trying to recruit his Olympic teammate.

“As far as me recruiting Chris Paul, no, not at all,” he said at the Knicks’ training facility. “We’re very close friends. I’m pretty sure you guys saw him in New York a lot due to the player meetings and stuff like that, but we’ve never had any conversation about him coming to New York. That’s something that I would leave up to him, him and his family. I’m staying away from that.”

The Anthony trade saga lasted from the summer of 2010 until Denver finally dealt him to the Knicks in February, and he said he doesn’t think the NBA needs a repeat of it now. Yet, he also realizes that “regardless of what I’m saying right here today, that will be the biggest topic, the biggest discussion, at the beginning of the season, the beginning of training camp.”

“I’ve talked to him about that,” said Anthony. “I’m pretty sure there’s a certain part of him that doesn’t want to deal with that.”

Paul will do his best to ignore it.

“I don’t think about it, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I’m just ready to get out here and compete and hoop. This is what I do.”

It might not be that easy. Just ask Melo.

“That’s going to be a sensitive situation,” Anthony said. “I don’t want to see him go through that because I know, personally, how that feels.”

Do you think the Knicks will land Paul this season? Sound off in the comments below…

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