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Carmelo Anthony wanted Jeremy Lin in Las Vegas

Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks

Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks during a game against the New Jersey Nets on Feb. 20, 2012. (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

LAS VEGAS – Carmelo Anthony would have liked to see Jeremy Lin play on the U.S. Select Team.

“Going against the best players and a team that gets after it every single day, it definitely would have helped him,” Anthony said.

Lin withdrew from the squad that has been practicing against the U.S. Olympic team the past six days here because of his contract status. He could have gone up against Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and Deron Williams and been on the court with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and some of the other NBA superstars.

Facing these great players every day would have helped Lin’s development. Despite his impressive run last year – he averaged 18.2 points and 7.7 assists in 25 starts - he’s still mostly unproven.

But it was a risk Lin, a restricted free agent, was unwilling to take with this being the most important summer of his NBA life.

He’s going to sign a four-year, $28.8 million offer sheet with the Rockets. Mike Woodson said the Knicks “absolutely” would match it.

As an unsigned free agent, if Lin wanted to participate fully in this camp, he would have had to purchase insurance. He also would have needed permission from the team signing him that he could practice.

Williams hadn’t gone through the contact portion of practice until Wednesday, after he signed his new deal with the Nets.

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