Anthony Davis is seeking a trade out of New Orleans and the New York Knicks could be a dark horse to acquire the superstar.
Early on Monday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Anthony Davis’ agent Rich Paul notified the New Orleans Pelicans that the big man does not plan to sign a long-term deal. As a result, the Pelicans are sure to try and trade Davis before the trade deadline or sometime during the summer.
Ian Begley of ESPN reports that the New York Knicks will be aggressive in trying to acquire Davis. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The team’s plan has always pointed towards summer 2019 and signing a superstar via free agency. Unfortunately, the Knicks are one of the worst teams in the league and could have a hard time convincing a star to sign.
Instead of trying to woo someone in free agency, trading for Davis could be a safer way to acquire a superstar. This strategy helped the Oklahoma City Thunder lock up Paul George. The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors used a similar strategy with Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard respectively.
Obviously, any team would love to have Anthony Davis. He’s one of the best players in the league and he’s a franchise-changing talent. Davis is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.6 blocks per game. The 6-foot-10 center is a five-time All-Star and one of the best defensive players in the game.
It’s unclear when he’ll be traded and what kind of return he’ll bring. The Knicks would undoubtedly need to include this year’s first-round draft pick with no protections in a deal. At best, the Knicks will have a 14 percent chance of landing the first-overall pick—Zion Williamson. Still, that could be an attractive centerpiece to work a deal around.
The Los Angeles Lakers will surely be in the mix for Davis, but they won’t have a high draft pick to dangle in front of New Orleans. Additionally, the Boston Celtics will push hard for Davis if the Pelicans don’t make a deal prior to the trading deadline. The Celtics can’t acquire Davis until the offseason because they are barred from trading for two players signed via the Rose Rule (they acquired Irving via trade during the summer of 2017).
Expect the Knicks to explore every possible avenue as the Pelicans shop Davis. They could sneak in and make a franchise-changing deal.