New York Knicks trade rumors indicate just how badly Phil Jackson wants to acquire Kevin Love. The problem is that the Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t been willing to part with Love, even if he becomes part of a deal for Carmelo Anthony. A report by ESPN on Wednesday (February 1) gives light to these new Knicks rumors, as the team continues to press hard to deal Anthony before the NBA trade deadline.
So why have the Knicks and Jackson become so transfixed on Love? He would come with a lot of team control, as he is signed through the 2019-20 NBA season. The final year of his contract includes a player option, but it is worth $25.6 million, suggesting that might be enough for Love to consider playing out the deal. That could mean the Knicks have Love through some of his peak years in the NBA.
In 41 games this season, Kevin Love is averaging 19.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Love is shooting 42.5 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range, and 86.6 percent from the free throw line. It is clear why he is an All-Star power forward for the Eastern Conference this season.
Despite all the overtures by Phil Jackson and the constant inclusion of his name in New York Knicks trade rumors, it doesn’t appear that Kevin Love will be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers anytime soon. He is playing the best basketball he has since the Cavs acquired him from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blockbuster deal. Although there have been murmurs about the Cavs making a move before the NBA trade deadline, it is very unlikely to include Love.
On paper, trading Love would make no sense for the Cavs, as the team would have to find someone who could bang in the low post as well as he has over the past two seasons. While several NBA analysts have suggested that this is a role Tristan Thompson could take over with more minutes, the Cavs might lose too much rebounding in a deal to acquire a scorer like Carmelo Anthony. The Cavs may still want to acquire Anthony in a separate deal, but it has been made very clear that Love is not available.
So why is Phil Jackson hung up on acquiring Kevin Love before the NBA trade deadline? It could be because Love is the type of player that the franchise could quickly build around. It might also be a way for Jackson to save face after the frustrating years he has struggled to put a winner on the court. These latest New York Knicks trade rumors are starting to make him seem desperate, though, as he continues to try to acquire a player who isn’t even available.
So what happens next? There are still three weeks left for Jackson to try to draw a third team into the negotiations so that the Cavaliers would become more willing to deal Love. Any deal might require that another big man goes to Cleveland, but all negotiations might come back to the Cavs coveting Kristaps Porzingis. This is one player the Knicks should not consider dealing, as he is a core component for the future of the franchise, no matter how enticing it might be to land Love.
It’s possible that the Knicks could convince the Orlando Magic to become involved in discussions of a three-team deal. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Orlando is shopping Serge Ibaka and Nikola Vucevic as the NBA trade deadline approaches. Would the Cavs be interested in dealing Kevin Love if it meant acquiring Serge Ibaka and Carmelo Anthony in the same deal? It’s certainly possible. Outside of something that intriguing, though, the New York Knicks trade rumors about acquiring Love need to be put to bed.
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