“There was a chance. There was definitely a chance,” Anthony said at Team USA training camp in Las Vegas.
Once Noah agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal, it would have been difficult for the Knicks to make Wade a competitive offer. He eventually signed a two-year deal with the Chicago Bulls worth approximately $47 million.
“We would have had to pull something out the ... a rabbit out the hat in the 25th hour,” Anthony said of the Knicks' pursuit of Wade. “There was a chance. I think if it was maybe two days earlier we probably would have had D-Wade.”
Anthony and Wade are close and were likely in contact during free agency. The Knicks missed out on Wade and didn't land a meeting with Kevin Durant, the offseason's big prize. But Anthony has expressed confidence in the moves they’ve made.
In addition to signing Noah, Jennings and Lee, New York traded for point guard Derrick Rose.
“I think people are going to be actually surprised at the D-Rose that’s coming back,” Anthony said of Rose, who because of a series of injuries has played in approximately 40 percent of possible games since the start of the 2013-14 season.
“I just love the group,” he said in an interview with Slam Magazine. “I think everybody is on the same page. I love the culture that Phil [Jackson] is creating. Just the organization, the franchise. Just everybody that works for them. They seem like they're very excited, their spirits are up. I think we have a chance to win every game. In the league, that’s rare.”
Some might see this as Rose saying the Knicks are going 82-0. It seemed to me he said the club will have enough talent to win every game it plays this season.
That's not something the Knicks could have reasonably claimed over the past two seasons. The club has missed the playoffs for three consecutive years; if Rose, Anthony and Noah remain healthy, they should have enough talent to end that drought this season.
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne contributed to this report