The fallout from the NBA Draft Lottery is still avalanching its way throughout the league now that there’s an idea of where some of the top youngsters are headed.
With the Pelicans winning the No. 1 pick, the idea of Zion Williamson’s acquisition has many — including the team’s vice president David Griffin — believing that they can hang onto Anthony Davis.
It looks like it’s not going to happen as the Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Davis’ stance on staying in New Orleans has not changed.
The six-time All-Star center asked for a trade earlier this year, giving the Pelicans ample time to find a suitable deal rather than lose him for nothing when he becomes a free agent following the 2019-20 season.
Around the league’s February trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers and Pelicans were in talks to ship Davis out west. Talks turned into a soap opera as LeBron James pushed for basically the entire team to be dealt.
However, the Pelicans were never really going to trade Davis to the Lakers and instead just leaked the information to fracture the franchise.
New Orleans’ stance on trading Davis to the Lakers hasn’t changed even with Los Angeles winning the No. 4 pick, according to Brian Windhorst on ESPN’s The Jump. He also added that the Knicks have the best package available if the Pelicans want to build a youthful contender.
After getting the No. 3 pick on Tuesday, the Knicks could offer the rights of Williamson’s teammate, RJ Barrett, to the Pelicans as the centerpiece of the deal.
The Memphis Grizzlies at No. 2 are believed to be taking point guard Ja Morant out of Murray State as the successor to Mike Conley. That would allow the Pelicans to reunite Williamson with Barrett to create a young core.
The Knicks also can offer promising young center Mitchell Robinson, last year’s ninth overall pick, Kevin Knox, and two first-round picks received from the Dallas Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade to sweeten the pot.
There is a belief that Davis would be willing to re-sign with the Knicks long-term if they are moving in the right direction, which wouldn’t be hard if they were able to add two superstars in a weaker Eastern Conference.
Adding Davis makes the Knicks a much more attractive spot to land for big-name free agents as sights are going to be most likely set upon Kevin Durant this summer. Those two alone would make the Knicks an immediate playoff contender.