Report: Knicks still want to trade for Kevin Love, Cavaliers still say he’s not available

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If Phil Jackson is going to trade Carmelo Anthony, he wants more than some veteran role players he’d have to move and some young projects — you know, the Clippers’ offer — he wants a splash. Someone to pair with Kristaps Porzingis to push the Knicks back to relevance sooner rather than later.

Someone such as Kevin Love.

The Knicks keep asking and the Cavaliers keep saying no on Love, but the Cavs would be open to another deal, reports Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.

The New York Knicks continue to pursue Kevin Love in advance of the Feb. 23 trade deadline despite the Cleveland Cavaliers’ unwillingness to part with the All-Star forward in a deal for Carmelo Anthony, according to league sources.

Sources said the Cavaliers, meanwhile, do maintain an interest in Anthony — which would pair him with Cleveland star and close friend LeBron James — but only if a deal can be struck without the league’s reigning champions surrendering Love….

Many of the Knicks’ recent discussions with both the Cavaliers and the Clippers, sources say, have featured theoretical three- or four-team trade constructions because of the complexities involved in trading Anthony with two seasons and $54.2 million left on his contract after this season.

There is zero chance the Cavaliers would — or even LeBron would want — trade 27-year-old, playing his best basketball Love for 33-year-old and defensive liability (much worse than Love at this point) Anthony. LeBron wants to win a title, swapping Anthony for Love does not make the Cavs better.

Remember that Anthony has a 15 percent trade kicker in his contract — move him and he gets a raise. Also remember the Clippers are hard-capped this season because they spent the full mid-level on Wesley Johnson while being over the cap. Meaning for Los Angeles and New York to do a deal will mean at least one other team and a lot of moving parts to make it work.

A package of young players and picks from Boston might be the best way to build around Porzingis, but the Celtics interest level is not high enough to offer their best assets — the Brooklyn Nets picks.

Anthony said he has not agreed to waive his no-trade clause for anyone yet. If the time comes, he said his family’s wishes and the state of the team he might go to all would factor in.

The smart money is on Anthony staying a Knick the rest of this season, with a trade in the summer more likely. But Jackson and the Knicks are trying.