NEW YORK - Knicks president Donnie Walsh says he won't be disappointed if he doesn't land Carmelo Anthony by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
"I'm never disappointed because I don't raise my own expectations," Walsh, speaking generally about trades, said before Wednesday's Clippers-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
"I like what we have now. I know it can build into a team. I like the players that we have. I'm not saying we're a great team, but we have the core guys to go forward that can be a part of a very, very good team and we have the ability to do that."
Considering the latest development in the "Melo Drama", Walsh is wise to be patient.
According to a report in The Denver Post, Anthony said on Wednesday that he would "take a real hard look" at signing a three-year, $65 million contract extension with Denver if he's not dealt by the deadline. It was the first time that Anthony had publicly considered the possibility of signing the Nuggets' offer.
If Anthony isn't traded, the Melo Drama would stretch into March and beyond, with the Knicks hoping to land the Nuggets' star as a free agent in the summer.
"I don't know," Walsh said, again speaking generally. "We'll take that step when it comes."
Still, the Knicks are reportedly still pursuing a three-team deal that would bring Anthony to New York and would send Wilson Chandler to Denver and Anthony Randolph plus Eddy Curry's expiring contract to Minnesota.
Walsh seems intrigued by the idea of having a team with multiple superstars, similar to what the Heat have in Miami with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
"I want to see how this turns out for them this year," Walsh said of the Heat. "I think, yes, down the road that speaks well for their franchise."
With or without Anthony, Walsh is also keeping an eye toward the summer of 2012 when Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams all become free agents.
Asked if the Knicks have the potential to have max cap space in the summer of 2012 to afford Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and a third superstar, Walsh said, "Yes, we do."
If that were to materialize, the Knicks would fill out their roster with inexpensive role players, similar to what Miami has now.
Walsh added that he is weighing the 2012 considerations in any deal he does now.
"It will be one element that's in your thoughts," he said. "We're looking at the future, we're looking at the present. We're looking at a lot of elements in deciding on any trade, not any one in particular."
Of course, it all will depend on the new collective bargaining agreement, with the old one set to expire June 30. Anthony could end up leaving millions on the table if he does not sign his extension now, and the teams themselves could have a lower cap.
"The players' salaries will be proportionate to whatever the cap is," Walsh said.
Walsh said he consults with both Knicks owner Jim Dolan and head coach Mike D'Antoni on any potential deals.
The Daily News reported this week that Dolan had gone directly to Denver owner Stan Kroenke in an attempt to land Anthony.
"If you're involved in a trade, the owner's always involved," Walsh said. "Every team in the league, the owner should be involved."