GM sees long-term partnership with Melo

There has been plenty of speculation about Carmelo Anthony's future over the past couple of weeks.

The latest bit of news is that the Lakers plan to pursue Anthony in free agency next summer if the Knicks star opts out of the final year of his deal.

Anthony won't end up in purple and gold if Knicks GM Glen Grunwald has his way, though.

Grunwald on Tuesday said he sees the Knicks as having a "long-term, successful partnership" with Anthony.

"It's really premature for me to talk about [Anthony's opt-out]. We obviously love Melo, we think he's great for New York and New York is great for him," Grunwald said on a conference call.

"We see it being a long-term, successful partnership with him as we go forward. But right now, it's just too early to say anything other than we're looking forward to this coming season and we expect to have a good year."

It's worth noting that Anthony will have to leave a significant amount of money of the table if he chooses to opt out of the final year of his contract, worth $23,333,403.

If he opts out and signs with another team, he can ink a four-year contract worth $95,897,372, according to calculations by ESPN salary-cap expert Larry Coon. If Anthony opts out and re-signs with the Knicks, he can sign a five-year contract worth $129,135,806. That's a difference of $33,238,434.

Those numbers are based on the assumption Anthony, the NBA's reigning scoring champion, will sign a max contract.

The Knicks can begin negotiations on an extension with Anthony in February.

Grunwald said on Tuesday that it was premature to comment on any extension discussions he might have with Anthony in February. But the GM made it clear that he wants Anthony to remain a Knick, which makes sense because the franchise moved heaven and earth to get Anthony to the Garden in 2011.

QUESTION: How would you feel if Anthony opted out and signed with another team? Would he be justified in doing so if he felt the Knicks weren't in contention for a title?

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