Kevin Love, a potential free agent in 2015, finally put the Knicks in his crosshairs, praising the franchise because it now has Jackson as its leader.
Love has told the Timberwolves he won’t sign a contract extension, and reports stated the Wolves would look at trading him so they don’t lose him for nothing. The Wolves denied they would trade Love, but the Knicks have been bracing for the possibility they may have to deal for Love before 2015 free agency.
Love has been linked to several teams, including the Lakers, Warriors, Bulls, Celtics and Cavaliers.
“I think anytime you have Phil Jackson involved with any organization, you’re going to definitely look at it,” Love said Thursday on “SportsNation” on ESPN. “And you know it’s very intriguing. The Knicks are a place where I think anybody would like to go.”
Love seemed to suggest without Jackson’s presence, he would have no interest in placing the Knicks on his wish list.
“You mention LeBron James, he’s the best player in the world, another max contract guy, a guy that has won two and working on his third straight championship,” said Love, who was teammates with Carmelo Anthony on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. “So, yeah, anytime Phil Jackson is involved in different talks in an organization, you have to give it a second look.”
During his visit to the Garden in November, the burly power forward said he “loves” New York.
Incredibly, Love never has made the playoffs with the Wolves, saying “that burns me and hurts my heart.”
What hurts the Knicks is they are low on trade chips if there is a Love Sweepstakes as expected. They can’t deal a first-round draft pick until 2018. Center Tyson Chandler, who has an expiring contract, is their most solid trade chip, and Iman Shumpert has value. The organization is not sold on trading Tim Hardaway Jr., who was fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting.