Many saw the NBA Draft Lottery as a shaky start to the New York Knicks offseason, but Stephen A. Smith feels it could lead Anthony Davis there.
It’s not often you hear the New York Knicks’ name paired together with the Los Angeles Lakers these days. Stephen A. Smith added a welcome exception earlier this week.
Speaking on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday, Smith was speaking with NBA insider Brian Windhorst and co-host Max Kellerman about the upcoming offseason. Taking a prompt from host Molly Qerim about All-Star Anthony Davis’ next destination, Smith foretold a positive outlook for the Knicks.
While a majority of the conversation focused on the current New Orleans Pelican’s chances of joining the Los Angeles Lakers, Smith argued against the case. He instead declared “one could argue” Davis wants to be in New York “just as much, if not more” than the Lakers.
Smith made a case against Los Angeles thanks to the prescience of general manager Rob Pelinka.
Windhorst agreed that the Knicks were “absolutely in the game”.
Davis is under contract for the next two seasons with the Pelicans, but he was reportedly adamant about a trade. New Orleans struggled to a 33-49 record this season, marking the fifth time in seven seasons that they’d missed the playoffs during Davis’ tenure.
After the Pelicans landed the top overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, executive David Griffin has shown no interest in trading the six-time All-Star.
They’re expected to take Duke’s Zion Williamson with that first pick. Griffin was named New Orleans’ general manager in April. He met with Davis on Thursday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Knicks fell to the third pick of the draft, despite entering with the best odds alongside Cleveland and Phoenix. They have been linked to elite free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.