Carmelo Anthony says he will mostly play small forward this season

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Carmelo Anthony’s position has been a polarizing topic among Knicks fans and NBA observers for some time. He’s primarily played small forward for most of his career, but in recent seasons he’s been asked to play power forward due to injuries to Knicks big men Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani, and he’s been terrific at that position.

Now, with a brand-new five-year deal in hand and a new coach (Derek Fisher) and system (Phil Jackson’s triangle), he expects to go back to mostly playing on the perimeter, according to ESPN New York’s Ohm Youngmisuk:

After playing a good deal of power forward — and excelling at that position — over the past two seasons, Anthony thinks he will be mostly a small forward this season.

“We got too many,” Anthony said of power forwards on the roster. “I don’t need to go down there and battle. For what?”

“If it comes down to it, I’ll go back there,” Anthony added. “But I doubt it. They’re going to move me. We’re pretty packed at four and five positions.”

Whether the Knicks are actually “packed” at the two frontcourt spots is highly debatable. They’ve got the bodies, sure, but looking at their roster, it’s hard to argue that Melo wouldn’t be more effective at power forward than any of their other options.

The Knicks traded starting center Tyson Chandler in June, and his spot will likely be taken by Jason Smith, Cole Aldrich or Samuel Dalembert. This means that Stoudemire will probably be filling in some in the middle when healthy. And their other power forward is, well, Bargnani. Which isn’t ideal.

Fisher said he expects most of his players to play multiple positions, so Anthony could end up playing some power forward anyway. But as of now, look for him to be playing mostly small forward.