Steve Mills, the new Knicks president, sat between Scott Perry, the new general manager, and Jeff Hornacek, essentially a new coach, as he will be allowed to do things the way he wants in Year 2 of his tenure, unlike his lot in Year 1.

So, much was new for the Knicks — except for the same old issue that dominated the landscape last season and provided the bulk of fodder for Friday’s pre-training camp press conference in Tarrytown:

Carmelo Anthony.

“Our plan is that Carmelo will be with us on Monday on marketing day and media day and be with us on Tuesday when we start practicing,” Mills said.

“Look, Carmelo’s going to be back here. Carmelo has always been a professional,” Perry said.

“Carmelo, all summer long when we were going through this stuff, we had him in mind moving forward,” Hornacek said.

But a “new” development — actually an old one — surfaced. Since mankind learned of the wonders of fire, it has been reported Anthony wanted a trade to the Rockets. Sources confirmed an ESPN report that while there have been no trade scenarios discussed, Anthony would expand his catalogue of acceptable teams to include the Cavaliers, who were on his original list, and the Thunder. There have been the obligatory preliminary chats to determine a way to get Anthony to Cleveland, where LeBron James still resides. At least for now.

The Knicks trio repeatedly addressed Anthony’s professionalism, how they expect him initially to be on board with the rebuilding of the team, something that might not exactly make the 33-year-old Anthony all warm and fuzzy. But they stressed they will welcome him and expect him to be a mentor to the young’uns and be what he always has been.

Of course, Anthony wasn’t there, and it’s all worth spit until he talks Monday.

Unless they can hammer out a deal in the next 48 hours or so, nothing matters. Anthony could show up Monday and swear he would rather be anywhere — the G-League, purgatory, even Orlando — rather than returning to the Garden.

Knicks officials obviously tried and are trying for a deal that lands assets. They want to move into a brave new world, but find themselves still dealing with something they hoped would be in their past by now. So they make the most of it.

“What we set out, and what we said, if there was something there that made sense both for him and the Knicks organization, then we would strongly consider it,” Perry said. “Obviously we sit here today and that did not happen as of yet.”

And when the “as of yet” happens, no one knows.

But even if it drags to the trading deadline, there are worse fates for the Knicks. Gee, they might have to play a few months with a top-25 player (which Anthony is, despite what detractors say) on the roster. Anthony’s biggest trump card is the no-trade clause he received from ousted former president Phil Jackson, who sliced and diced Anthony throughout last season. Houston has been by far his preferred destination. Portland may have gained some traction. And now Cleveland and Oklahoma City are in the mix.

Say Anthony does the good soldier act — again — and is Carmelo Anthony up to the trade deadline. Knowing he can opt out at season’s end, he might be far more agreeable to accepting a trade elsewhere. And more teams might see him as a piece at least to get them in position where they could advance to have their brains beaten out by the Warriors.

Yes, the Knicks want to move forward, but if they hang on to Anthony a little longer, they might receive a return more desirable than Houston’s offer of the $60 million remaining over three years on Ryan Anderson’s contract. Until then, the Knicks and Anthony have to play nice, even if they hate each other.

“If he’s back here with the New York Knicks,” Perry said, “we expect him to be the professional he’s always exemplified throughout his career and move forward with him.”

Some things just don’t change.


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