The NBA world is still reeling from the news of New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis requesting a trade on Monday morning, which gives interested parties two weeks to pull off a blockbuster before the league’s Feb. 7 deadline. Believed to be among those interested teams is the New York Knicks, currently one of the worst teams in basketball.
In fact, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski told ESPN’s Golic and Wingo that the Knicks “will try to be aggressive,” to pull off a deal for the 25-year-old All-Star who is one of the best centers in the league.
Obviously, there are a ton of factors working against the Knicks with any proposed interest in Davis.
First off, Davis wants to be dealt to a contender, which the Knicks are obviously not as they are 10-39 on the season. Only the Cleveland Cavaliers have a worse record than New York.
While players normally don’t have much say as to where they will be traded, Davis does as he can tell any team that he won’t sign a long-term extension with them. That interested party will obviously not be interested in giving up a bounty for the second half of the 2018-19 season and next year only before he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2020.
So unless the Knicks could sell Davis on an immediate future where they compete for an NBA title, the allure of playing in the Big Apple and at Madison Square Garden might not be enough for “The Brow.”
Compared to the other teams linked with Davis, which is headlined by the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, the Knicks simply can’t provide the kind of return others can offer to the Pelicans.
Even though Boston can’t trade for Davis until Jul. 1 due to the Rose Rule, the promise of offering players like Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, or Jaylen Brown could see the Pelicans hold off on trading the star until the summer. The Lakers though can provide quite a return as well should they be willing to part with the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, or even Lonzo Ball.
However, the Knicks do have a wild card in their 2019 first-round draft pick. As it stands, they are strong contenders for the No. 1 overall pick that could turn into Duke star and seemingly generational talent, Zion Williamson. Of course, it all depends on how the ping pong balls fall in the lottery. But should the Knicks continue to tank, their chances will only increase.
New York also has some promising young talent to offer, including point guard Frank Ntilikina and forward Kevin Knox. While Ntilikina has been on the trade block in recent weeks, Knox has not, and both are serious projects before becoming legitimate contributors or even stars at the NBA level.
Kristaps Porzingis could have been seen as a trump card of sorts on a deal for Davis, but the general consensus around the league is that he would not re-sign with New Orleans if he was traded there. The injured 23-year-old star is a restricted free agent in 2019 and will likely be unrestricted come 2020.
But if a star of Davis’ caliber makes it known that he’s willing to commit to the Knicks, then no player or asset should be off the table to get a deal done.
Proposing a Knicks offer for Anthony Davis
Knicks Get: Anthony Davis
Pelicans Get: 2019 first-round pick, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Enes Kanter (expiring contract)
Would that be enough to get Davis? Probably not. But it’s likely the best deal the Knicks could offer at the moment.