Carmelo Anthony will likely not play in the Knicks' season finale on Wednesday night, head coach Jeff Hornacek said, before weighing in on Anthony's season and potential future in New York.
"I think it's his choice still with his contract," Hornacek told the NY Daily News, alluding to Anthony's no-trade clause. "Every year until guys are gone coaches all assume we're going to have the same team."
It's expected that the Knicks, who attempted to trade Anthony prior to the deadline this season, will make him available this offseason.
Hornacek said having Anthony around to mentor the team's younger players has "been good at times," adding that Anthony would have to embrace that role if he returns next season.
"If Carmelo is back in that veteran leadership role he really has to take to it and help the young guys out," Hornacek said. Like I said we'll have a lot of young guys out there."
Hornacek noted that Anthony's season was kind of what the Knicks expected.
"I thought it was kinda what we expected," Hornacek said. "He can score the ball. Defensively he was in the right spots lot of times. I think as you get older…he's got good reactions. But the getting back out to somebody I think our whole team struggled with that this year. We didn't close out hard enough on a lot of guys."
Anthony, 32, is owed $26.2 million next season and $27.9 million in 2018-19, after which he can become a free agent.