Knicks to try to lock up Carmelo long-term?

Carmelo Anthony has one more season before he can opt-out of his contract with the Knicks, and the team may try to lock him up long-term before he even gets the choice.

Carmelo Anthony“It’s really premature to talk about that,” Knicks GM Glen Grunwald said Tuesday, according to SNY’s Adam Zagoria. “But we obviously love Carmelo. We think he’s great for New York and New York’s great for him.

With reports coming out that the Lakers are interested in Carmelo come next offseason, the Knicks will want to secure their franchise player before other teams can get to him.

“We see it being a long-term successful partnership with him as we go forward but right now it’s just too early to say anything other than to say we’re looking forward to this coming season,” Grunwald said.

But Melo won’t give his contract a thought. Not yet, at least.

“I can’t think about that right now,” Anthony said May 20, the day after the season ended, Zagoria reported. “That would be selfish on my part to sit back and think about a situation like that, think about something like that. When that time comes I’ll deal with it. Right now, it’s all about getting better myself, as a team  and moving forward.”

An extension cannot be signed until February 22, 2014 at the earliest, which is three years after the last extension.