The bad news? It looks like New York will have some stiff competition for Love’s services.
Sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne that Love has made it clear to the Timberwolves that he has no interest in signing a contract extension this summer to stay in Minnesota.
So he’s expected to test free agency. If he makes it to free agency, the Knicks will likely be interested in his services.
But there are several attractive teams who’d like to try to trade for Love before he hits free agency.
The Phoenix Suns also have “strong interest” in trading for Love.
Of course, any team willing to trade for Love would need assurances that the 25-year-old would be willing to re-sign with them in the summer of 2015.
The Knicks probably don’t have the trade chips to acquire Love via a trade. The next first-round draft pick they can trade is their 2018 pick.
Here’s another potential issue for New York’s pursuit of Love:
The power forward’s top priority is believed to be playing for a team that can contend immediately.
That could be problematic for the Knicks.
New York is coming off a 37-win season in which it failed to make the playoffs for the first time in four years. Who knows if the Knicks will be a contending team next season? If Love wants an opportunity to win a title immediately, though, he may find a better opportunity to do so in another market.
If Love makes it to free agency in 2015, the Knicks can put themselves in position to sign him.
Assuming the Knicks sign Carmelo Anthony to a max deal ($24,142,7891), they are expected to have five players under contract at a total salary of $39,492,533 entering the 2015 offseason. (Anthony has said he’d take a paycut to re-sign in New York or another market.)
That projected cap space would give the Knicks enough money to ink Love to a max deal.
One issue with Love to New York: It’s worth wondering, at least, if the Knicks would be better off pursuing a top flight point guard like Rajon Rondo in 2015. Jackson’s triangle offense, though, has thrived without a big-name point guard in the past.
Also, it’s worth wondering how Anthony fits with Love. Both players thrive at power forward and have shot a high percentage from the left side of the floor. Would they get in each other’s way? Or would the triangle sort all of that out?
Either way, based on what we learned on Sunday, it seems like we are many steps away from Love landing in New York.
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.