The New York Knicks front office is already reportedly positioning itself to sign Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love when the All-Star is eligible to become a free agent in two years.
According to a report Tuesday from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Knicks will use their commitment to try to sign Love as an incentive to bring back forward Carmelo Anthony if he tests free agency this summer. The team is also prepared to offer Anthony a five-year, $130 million extension to re-sign.
"Through the decay and debris of a crumbling infrastructure, chasing the championship parade that never marches, the New York Knicks' recruitment to retain Carmelo Anthony comes with the promise to pursue Kevin Love into the franchise's 2015 salary-cap space...the Knicks are sold on Love in 2015, sources tell Yahoo Sports, and they've already begun devising a strategy to lure him when the time comes."
The 25-year-old Love, who signed a four-year deal with the Wolves last year, is scheduled to make $14.6 million this year with Minnesota and $15.7 million with the team next season before becoming eligible for free agency. If he remains in Minnesota beyond next season, he would make $16.7 million for the 2015-16 season.
The Knicks, meanwhile, "are buried in salary-cap hell through 2014," as Wojnarowski writes, but will have freed up nearly $50 million by the time the team finishes paying Amar'e Stoudemire ($23.4 million) Tyson Chandler ($14.3 million) and Andrea Bargnani ($12 million) when their contracts expire after next season.
Love, who was named the league's Most Improved Player in 2011, is currently averaging 26.4 points, 15 rebounds and five assists through the first two weeks of the regular season.SI WIRE: Timberwolves halt rookie backpack ritual out of hazing concerns