Report: Anthony Davis equally as interested in Knicks as Lakers long-term
When Anthony Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans, his agent, Rich Paul, said, “Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.”
Davis reportedly put out word he’d re-sign with only the Lakers. That made sense. Any team with LeBron James is already a championship contender, and Davis would lift Los Angeles even higher.
But the Knicks? The 10-43 Knicks? The Knicks who haven’t made the playoffs in five years and have won only one postseason series in 18 years?
Marc Stein of The New York Times:
Sources say Davis, meanwhile, remains adamant that he will not sign a long-term deal with Boston if the Celtics trade for him in July and that he would like to play out the rest of the season for the Pelicans if there's no trade by tomorrow's deadline— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 7, 2019
Armed with assets after the Kristaps Porzingis trade, the Knicks could try to trade for Davis now. But that’d reduce their cap space next summer. The most-ambitious move would be signing two max free agents then trading for Davis.
A trade of Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, a guaranteed Damyean Dotson and a top-five pick for Davis projects to meet salary-matching requirements next offseason. If necessary, New York could also guarantee Lance Thomas’ salary and/or exercise Allonzo Trier’s team option to gain more salary ballast.
Davis, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – that’d be an instant contender.
But it’s a long way to making that dream reality.
First, it’s worth examining who’s leaking this now and why. Is it Davis trying to avoid the Celtics at all costs? With the Lakers falling out of the race now and maybe not having the patience just to wait for 2020 free agency, Davis might want to present another threat now. Is it the Pelicans trying to present the idea of another pre-deadline suitor? They can always wait for Boston, but it can’t hurt to see more offers now.
No matter the leaker’s agenda, this could also genuinely reflect Davis’ mindset. Which makes New York’s plan even more intriguing.