Carmelo Anthony never said he didn't want to play with Chris Paul. But he called the recent report that the Knicks and Clippers might consider an Anthony-for-Blake Griffin trade "silly and stupid."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers also used the word "stupid" four times in reaction to the ESPN report, which said the two sides haven't had any discussions.

Still, Anthony and Paul are good friends and have been rumored to want to team up the way LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did in Miami.

There was a time when it was thought it would be with the Knicks, but then Paul was traded to the Clippers and ultimately signed a long-term extension with them. For Anthony and Paul to join forces now, it would have to be in Los Angeles.

"Coming up, everybody talks about it," Anthony said yesterday. "It started from back in the USA team. We laugh and joke about it. It just so happened that them three guys did it. It happens.

"Everybody always says they want to play with this guy or play with that guy. Me and Chris have been rumored to play together since he came in the NBA. There's always trade rumors to try and get us together. It never happened . . . It was stupid and silly."

Anthony will become a free agent in July, and with no guarantees he will re-sign, the Knicks might consider trading their franchise player by the Feb. 20 trade deadline. At this point, they hope to keep Anthony and continue to build with him.