New York Knicks president Steve Mills said the team will not buy out Carmelo Anthony’s deal and will trade him if the right opportunity comes up. In a press conference after he was promoted to team president, Mills said the Knicks will not also speculate about Anthony. Earlier, it was reported that the Knicks temporarily shelved their negotiations with the Rockets about a possible trade for Anthony because Mills wants to talk to the All-Star first before making the next moves.

Newly hired general manager Scott Perry plans to reach out to Anthony, saying “I see myself as a bridge builder, not a bridge destroyer." However, Mills clarified that the team are committed to building around Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Willy Hernangomez.

The Knicks ramped up their trade talks with the Rockets involving Anthony after they signed Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $71 million contract recently, NBC reported.

Knicks to evaluate basketball ops department

According to Perry, one of his first tasks is to evaluate Knicks' basketball ops department. He said he will buckle down to work immediately and interview some people who can help him run the team’s day to day affairs. Newsday quoted Mills as saying that Scott will immediately put together a basketball operations department that is among the best in the league. He added that the team will be united in implementing strategies to build the team by developing young players and emphasizing athleticism, length, and defense.

Mills added that the team will be disciplined in sticking to this strategy and hold players accountable for their actions.

Scott will be given the room to make basketball decisions, especially in managing the coaching and scouting staff, and will make recommendations on the direction of the team as a basketball organization.

“We’ll debate it back and forth but at the end of the day, I’m giving him the room to make those decisions,” Mills said.

Anthony hoping that Knicks continue negotiations with Rockets

Earlier, Anthony expressed hope that the Knicks will continue negotiating a trade that will send him to the Rockets and put him alongside Chris Paul and James Harden.

The Rockets earlier offered Ryan Anderson to the Knicks but the latter refused, saying they don’t want to be burdened by the power forward’s three-year, $61 million deal. In an effort to facilitate talks, the Rockets brought in two more teams into the negotiations, making it a four-squad deal. However, the Knicks temporarily shelved the talks after they recently hired Scott as general manager.