NEW YORK — Chris Paul was in Brooklyn on Tuesday, handing out boxes of food to families on behalf of the Carmelo Anthony Foundation.
The next time Paul assists Anthony, they could be in Knicks' uniforms. When Paul was asked about the possibility of joining Anthony, the Knicks' small forward couldn't stop smiling.
But Paul, perhaps preparing for all the questions he will receive when training camps open next week, said his heart is in New Orleans. His heart and his game aren't expected to stay there beyond this season, though.
"I try not to pay attention to any of that different type stuff," Paul said. "My heart is in New Orleans and right now the reason I'm in New York is for (Anthony)."
Paul, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade joined Anthony at Madison Square Boys and Girls Club to distribute food to roughly 800 families. Anthony, Paul and James have been inseparable during the lockout, playing in various basketball exhibitions. The trio were teammates in most games. In one South Florida exhibition, Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Paul were on the same team. That could have been a look at the future.
Paul can opt out of his contract after the season. But in the yet-to-be-ratified collective bargaining agreement, teams still can do extend-and-trades or sign-and-trades. The Knicks could try to acquire Paul using either avenue, but the Hornets would have to be amenable to moving him.
Since they are owned by the NBA — and the league pushed hard for competitive balance during the lockout — it would seem unlikely the Hornets would facilitate a deal that would send Paul to the Knicks.
There also are some restrictions that could prevent Paul from accepting either kind of trade. He would make the most money by opting out.
"I have no idea about that type of stuff," he said. "I think right now the thing I'm most focused on is getting all these boxes out of my house in North Carolina and getting everything shipped back to New Orleans so I can get ready for the season."
Paul was on the players' association executive committee, so he knows the ins and outs of the new CBA. The owners wanted to limit player movement in large part because of the players in Brooklyn on Tuesday. James left the Cavaliers last summer, joining Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, and Anthony forced a trade to the Knicks.
"This deal is not about one person," Paul said. "It's not about me. It's not about any one of these guys. It's about a collective group."
Collectively, the players are looking forward to returning to camp, and Anthony his first camp with the Knicks.
"We had a short run last year when I came here to New York and now we get a training camp together and we get time to jell," Anthony said. "We're just excited about the season.
"There's so much excitement out here right now, here in New York, surrounding the game of basketball, period. We're just excited to get back out there and have our shot to go get it."
MELO ON 'CUSE: Anthony, who led Syracuse to the 2003 national title, was reluctant to speak about longtime assistant Bernie Fine, his dismissal amid child molestation allegations, and whether head coach Jim Boeheim should be let go.
"My heart goes out to the families, and that's it," Anthony said. "I have no comment about the Fine situation or the Boeheim situation. That's a sensitive situation, sensitive topic right now that I don't even want to go near."