The Anthony Davis trade sweepstakes appears to be heating up, but could the New York Knicks be wavering in their interest in acquiring the New Orleans Pelicans center?
The Pelicans reportedly have told interested teams what type of assets they are looking to acquire in exchange for the superstar center. The asking price for Davis understandably is sky-high, and every team interested in Davis must weigh the risk of him leaving in 2020 as an unrestricted free agent.
It's a risky scenario, and according to Ian Begley of SNY, some people with the Knicks are hesitant to give up premium assets for the 26-year-old big man.
The Pelicans, according to an ESPN report, weren't enamored by any offer the Knicks or any other suitors had made for Davis. So the Knicks had engaged in some dialogue with teams in an effort to improve their offer for Davis, per SNY sources. It's unclear how far along -- if at all -- any of that dialogue was, but some people in the organization were uncomfortable with the idea of trading away significant assets for Davis, citing the way things played out for New York in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony trade, per SNY sources.
The Knicks have some nice trade assets, highlighted by 2018 first-round pick Kevin Knox and the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Knox has a promising future after a rollercoaster rookie campaign, but he's not one of the elite young talents in the NBA. The No. 3 pick certainly is valuable, but many experts believe this is a two-player draft coming up. New York doesn't have any established young star to offer for Davis, either.
What looked like a promising offseason to come for the Knicks could end up being terrible. How so?
The potentially serious Achilles injury suffered by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night could throw a wrench into New York's summer plans. If Durant remains in Golden State as he recovers from his injury and doesn't go to the Knicks in free agency this summer, could Kyrie Irving decide to re-sign with the Boston Celtics? If that happens, would the Celtics be more aggressive in their pursuit of Davis? An Irving-Davis duo in Boston could be enough to vault the C's to the top of the Eastern Conference contenders list, especially if the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers lose key free agents in July.
Boston reportedly has coveted Davis for years, and they have the quality trade assets to make a strong offer to New Orleans. The Celtics' assets, at least on paper, trounce the Knicks' collection of young players and draft picks. The C's have talented young players such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, established veterans including Marcus Smart and Gordon Hayward, three 2019 first-round picks and other future draft selections of value to dangle in trade packages for Davis. The Knicks would be foolish to go all-in for a Davis trade if Durant and Irving both decide not to sign in New York as free agents next month.
There are so many possible scenarios to consider as the start of free agency and the draft near. Durant's injury could impact several teams' summer plans, including where the Pelicans trade Davis.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.