The New York Knicks were one of the NBA teams who expressed interest in acquiring Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans before the February NBA trade deadline. Unfortunately, despite offering a trade package centered on Kristaps Porzingis, the Pelicans refused to send Davis to New York, believing that the Latvian center may not consider staying long-term in New Orleans. The Knicks ended up trading Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round picks.
The Knicks may no longer have Kristaps Porzingis, but they are still expected to pursue Anthony Davis next summer. The Knicks still have a plethora of trade assets that may convince the Pelicans to engage in a blockbuster deal. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Pelicans could “pay attention” to the Knicks if they succeed to land a “top-two pick” in the 2019 NBA Draft.
“If the Knicks luck out in the lottery with a top-two pick, the Pelicans will pay attention to them on draft night. A potential scenario is the Pelicans crafting a draft-night deal when the picks are revealed. In the Knicks’ case, the trade wouldn’t become official July 1 when they have their $74 million in cap space. The Knicks have plenty of young assets the Pelicans would consider, according to a source. Along with a lottery pick in June and one of the two Dallas first-rounders, the Pelicans can choose between two of the following: Smith, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson and Damyean Dotson.”
With their current standing, the Knicks have a strong chance of acquiring a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. After a 107-104 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night, the Knicks extended their losing streak to a franchise-record 17 games. As of now, the Knicks are in the No. 15 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 10-46 record.
Having a top-two pick in the 2019 NBA draft will help the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics’ potential offer for Anthony Davis next summer. The Knicks’ offseason plan is not expected to stop with the successful acquisition of Davis. When the 2019 NBA free agency officially starts, the Knicks plan to chase the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, and Kawhi Leonard.
Pairing Anthony Davis with two superstars will not only help the Knicks rise to the top of the Eastern Conference, but it will also give them a strong chance of ending their decades of title drought. Davis may have expressed his desire to test the free agency market in the summer of 2020, but Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium revealed on Twitter that the Knicks are one of the preferred landing spots of the All-Star big man.