During the U.S. Olympic team training camp in Las Vegas last July, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul strolled arm-in-arm through the media work room at UNLV on the way to a charity event.

When Anthony spotted a familiar reporter, he playfully barked, “Chris is going to be a Knick next summer!” The two of them cackled.

Anthony appeared to be joking — especially if he had read carefully the new restrictions in the collective bargaining agreement. Starting this summer, it will be extremely difficult for a team $4 million above the luxury-tax threshold to execute a sign-and-trade. Paul, the Clippers’ star point guard, becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Knicks are taxpayers.

Paul makes his lone visit today to the Garden for a nationally televised showdown at 1 p.m. without the expectations of him being a Knick in the near future. It will be Paul’s first performance at the Garden in nearly two years. He was held out of last year’s regular-season finale.

It almost seemed a fait accompli when Paul made a champagne toast at Anthony’s New York wedding in July 2010 that the duo would team with Amar’e Stoudemire to form their own Big 3. They will be reunited today, but now the Knicks have moved on gracefully with a veteran three-headed point-guard contingent of Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni.