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New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony will be looking to recruit upcoming free agents as they descend on New York for All-Star weekend next week.
It will be a surreal experience for the 30-year-old given that he was the free agent that was being recruited last year, but after opting to re-sign with the Knicks, he will now head up the rebuilding process at the franchise.
The Knicks are 10-40 for the season after a dismal showing through the opening half of the year before team president Phil Jackson opted to start the rebuilding process with trade moves for JR Smith and Iman Shumpert.
Samuel Dalembert was waived, and Jose Calderon is reportedly next on the list to be traded ahead of the deadline while Amar’e Stoudemire is considering a contract buy-out.
As a result, the Knicks will need players next season and Anthony plans on doing his part for the organisation by speaking to free agents during All-Star weekend.
Asked after Thursday’s practice by reporters if he hoped the Garden, with its history, and New York City, with its everything, can lure free agents to the Knicks, Anthony said, “I hope so, I hope so,” the New York Post reported.
“That was kind of the talk of All-Star Weekend last year. I’ve had that experience maybe twice now, last year and then the one in L.A. a couple of years back right before I got to New York. Now it’s my turn. Now it’s my turn to extend the favor.”
It remains to be seen who the Knicks are capable of convincing to join them, but the likes of Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Goran Dragic and Rajon Rondo will be amongst those on the market.
Other targets could include Jimmy Butler, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade with the latter duo having player options, but those look particularly unrealistic while the Knicks have been suggested as a team ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant in 2016.