The Kevin Love contest is upon us. With word coming this past weekend Love had told the higher-ups in Minnesota he wasn’t going to sign an extension and would absolutely opt out of his deal next summer, the floodgates have opened and Knicks president of basketball operations, Phil Jackson, is said to be plotting a move involving Love.
You could file this under idle chatter, but the New York Post‘s Marc Berman reports:
“According to an NBA source, Knicks president Phil Jackson has been plotting to be involved in making something happen with Love via a trade.”
Berman’s phrasing might mean any number of things: a trade for Love, a trade involving Love where he ends up somewhere else, an attempt to drum up media interest in Love heading to NYC, a deft publicity ploy to take heat off Jackson’s inability to land Steve Kerr; there’s nothing concrete except to say Jackson is interested in Kevin Love.
So, um, he’s like the other 29 GM’s in the NBA. We’ll go out on a limb and say Jackson is also intrigued by LeBron James and *plotting* a way to acquire him this summer or next.
The Knicks don’t have a lot of cap room this coming season, so any deal involving Love this summer would require a sing-and-trade deal similar to the one that robbed the franchise of a smattering of young players in order to acquire Carmelo Anthony in 2011.
Right now — with all their cap holds in place, including for ‘Melo — the Knicks are north of $90 million next season (well above the luxury tax line, like it matters), but both Amar’e Stoudemire and ‘Melo have an ETO this summer. ‘Melo will use his — as he’s told the media repeatedly — because he wants to get the “Dwight Howard treatment” as a sought-after free agent. Stoudemire would be a fool to opt out of the $23 million plus he has on the last year of his contract. The difference for ‘Melo centers on his ability to re-sign with the Knicks for $33 million more than with another team. There aren’t as many suitors for STAT and his mangled knees unfortunately, or the Knicks could wipe close to $50 million off their crap in one summer.
Reports from the weekend say Love is eyeing Golden State and Chicago, two teams in much better shape than the Knicks to contend for a title sooner, rather than later. New York’s short-term title hopes will also be a determining factor behind whether ‘Melo re-signs with the Knicks this summer when he opts out on July 1. Phil Jackson has a lot of balls in the air, we hope he doesn’t drop too many. The NYC periodicals already have a number of Zen Master puns locked and loaded in case this whole New York experiment implodes.
Do the Knicks have any chance of getting Love and ‘Melo next season?
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