Eastern Rumors: ‘Melo, Billups, Allen, Heat

Carmelo Anthony is full of optimism about what Phil Jackson can do for the Knicks, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com observes. ‘Melo is similarly enthusiastic about what he can learn from Jackson and is glad that the Zen Master wants him to stick around beyond this season.

“I was hoping that I would be part of the future plans,” Anthony said. “I never once said that I wanted to leave New York or anything like that. The only thing I said was I’m going to dabble and try the free agency out, that I was going to opt out and become a free agent. … I’m excited about the opportunity to hopefully work with Phil.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Chauncey Billups says he won’t necessarily retire at the end of the season, but teams have already gauged his interest in joining their front offices, Billups told reporters, including Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. It’s unclear if the Pistons are one of those clubs, but Billups said he’d consider them if they offered a position. The 37-year-old would like to become a basketball executive at some point, adds Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post, who notes that Billups and Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars are close.
  • Ray Allen, a free agent at season’s end, still has affection for Boston, and he’d like to see the Celtics retire his number, writes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.
  • The Heat have assigned Justin Hamilton to the D-League, the team announced. The center will play in two games for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and return to the Heat after Saturday’s contest, according to Miami’s release.
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