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Phil Jackson says he, Carmelo Anthony talked, ‘Melo still cornerstone of Knicks

Knicks Fisher Fired Basketball

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson takes questions from reporters, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 at the team’s practice facility in Elmsford, N.Y. Jackson earlier fired Knicks coach Derek Fisher, with his team having lost five straight and nine of 10 to fall well back in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Associate head coach Kurt Rambis was promoted to interim head coach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

AP

For a team that has fast faded from the playoff picture in recent months, the Knicks are still making headlines. Because of Kristaps Porzingis. Because they fired Derek Fisher and brought Kurt Rambis is as an interim, and Phil Jackson wanted his friend to succeed. Because Kevin Durant is looking elsewhere.

There are three looming questions with the Knicks heading into this summer:

Who is the next head coach?

Is Phil Jackson wed to the triangle? (This will impact free agency and ties into the question above.)

Is Carmelo Anthony part of the Knicks future?

Jackson spoke with the media Friday in Los Angeles and, at least, discussed the last of those questions. From Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal,

Up to this point, Anthony has not been willing to waive his no-trade clause, and he has said he wants to be active in recruiting free agents to the Knicks this summer (although his reported targets may not be the best options). I believe he wants to help bring respectability and eventually a contender to NYC.

But this summer his 15 percent trade kicker becomes valuable (it couldn’t go above the max salary before, but this summer’s salary cap spike means the max goes up and the kicker is in play). He agrees to leave, he gets more money. He’s only going to go to a contender, and likely in a major market (he and his wife like NYC), but the money, at least, opens a discussion that wasn’t going anywhere before.

Jackson also discussed other issues around the Knicks.