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Reports: If Knicks get No. 1 pick, they’d try to trade it for Anthony Davis

Pelicans Knicks Basketball

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) drives to the basket against New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (26) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Howard Simmons)


The historically important Zion Williamson lottery is tonight. No team has better odds of landing the No. 1 pick than the Knicks, who are tied with the Cavaliers and Suns at 14%.

But for New York, Anthony Davis – not Williamson – might be the real prize.


Shams Charania:

I’m told, if the Knicks get that number one overall pick, they would then shift their focus toward a potential deal for Anthony Davis.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

Considering contract status – Williamson set to begin a four-year rookie-scale deal then hit restricted free agency, Davis only one season from unrestricted free agency – the No. 1 pick is generally more valuable than Davis.

Williamson is also more valuable than Davis to the Pelicans, whom Davis has requested a trade from.

But Davis might be more valuable to the Knicks. He could help them lure Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency. Davis is also more likely to re-sign with New York than other teams.

Still, trading the No. 1 pick for Davis – which would likely have to be done before free agency – would be quite risky. The Knicks wouldn’t know whether Durant and Irving would follow. They definitely wouldn’t know whether Davis would re-sign next year.

Of course, there’s an 86% chance the Knicks don’t get the No. 1 pick. But they’re still guaranteed a top-five selection, and a pick in the 2-5 range could still be part of an intriguing trade package. The offer wouldn’t be nearly as overwhelming without the No. 1 pick, but it could still beat other suitors. Especially if the Celtics, fearful of Irving leaving, don’t make their strong possible offer.

Tonight’s drawing will crystalize plenty. In the meantime, we’re learning more about what New York prioritizes, and that will carry into the summer no matter how the ping-pong balls bounce.