The lottery came and went last week with the Knicks securing the 3rd overall selection heading into next month’s draft. In the meantime, a lot of speculation has begun regarding that pick.
Should the Knicks keep it and draft RJ Barrett? Should the team trade down? Or should the team dangle that picks in a potential deal for Anthony Davis? There are certainly options to explore but a trade for Anthony Davis seems to be on the forefront of people’s minds. Seeing AD in a Knicks uniform would certainly be exciting, but at what cost?
Anthony Davis To Knicks?
As everyone knows, Davis let the Pelicans organization know that he wouldn’t be signing an extension and would like to be traded. The Knicks were one of the franchises that were included on his trade list, as a team that he would sign an extension with. This last week’s lottery certainly put the Pelicans in a strong position after getting the 1st pick. Now they can negotiate from a position of strength in any potential deal.
The Pelicans ownership to this point has been reluctant to engage with the Lakers in any serious trade talks. And to this point, they don’t seem to be inclined to do so. Now a lot of this is likely posturing because the Lakers do have a good potential offer and the Pelicans need the best offer possible to part ways with their best player. The Lakers landing the 4th pick of this draft certainly helps their position in any potential trade.
Boston is also another team interested in Davis and certainly, have the young pieces to offer New Orleans. However, with the uncertainty surrounding Kyrie Irving, a potential deal seems complicated on their end. AD’s father has certainly voiced his displeasure with the Boston organization, stating he would never want his son to go there. On the basketball side of things, it would be difficult to imagine Davis agreeing to an extension with Irving likely gone. The Celtics roster would be bare after trading the youngsters like Tatum and Brown, leaving AD nobody of significance to play with. He would essentially be back on the same type of team he was on in New Orleans, minus Jrue Holiday.
What Can The Knicks Offer?
So what would a potential Knicks offer for Davis look like? Anytime you want to acquire a star player, it costs a pretty penny. The Knicks being able to land in the top 3 of this draft was crucial because being any further back would have hurt their case.
Any trade would start off with this year’s 3rd pick as the centerpiece. The two Dallas picks that are conveying in 2021 and 2023 would likely be sent to New Orleans as well. Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr would also likely be included in a package. By landing the 3rd overall pick, the Knicks would likely be able to avoid having to give up Mitchell Robinson in any deal. A key aspect in the Knicks offer would be the ability to trade RJ Barrett to NO. Reuniting him with his college running mate in Zion is a nice building block for NO and can certainly set them up for years to come.
So how does this compare to the Lakers? Well, the Lakers have more good, young players to offer in Ingram, Kuzma, Lonzo, and Hart. However, their draft picks are not as good as the Knicks are. So it’s overall pretty even, although the Lakers probably have a bit of a better offer overall. The inclusion of Mitchell Robinson could certainly push the Knicks ahead in a potential deal. However, his inclusion seems like too much for just one player.
When Would A Deal Take Place
There’s still some time to go before potential trade offers heat up for AD. Free agency is going to play a large role in his trade discussions. The Knicks have the ability to add AD onto a roster with 2 max free agents. The only trick is the Knicks having to sign the free agents first and then trading for AD. It would leave the roster relatively bare, but moving forward with a potential core of KD, AD, and Kyrie would certainly be exciting.
The Knicks have what it takes to get a deal done but would be wise to wait and see what the roster construction has come mid-July. Talent wins in the NBA and adding AD goes a long way to making the Knicks contenders again. But there is a price for everything and the franchise has to tread carefully. This isn’t a Melo situation, as AD is on a different level as a player and a perennial MVP candidate. But it is important to not gut the roster of players that can be useful. Especially with the coaching staff has spent a tremendous amount of time coaching them.
It’s important to recognize just a few short years ago, the Knicks weren’t considered to be a wanted destination by free agents. Star players that wanted to be traded weren’t clamoring at the opportunity to come to NYC. This is a testament to Scott Perry and Steve Mills and the work they have done to remake the image of this franchise. The fact that the Knicks are in the conversation for top level free agents and Anthony Davis shows just how far the organization has come. Whether or not the Knicks can pull this trade off remains to be seen, but it’s great to be involved.