When he demanded a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis reportedly gave a list of his preferred landing spots. One of the NBA teams where Davis will reportedly consider signing a long-term contract with is the New York Knicks.
In his recent article, Frank Isola of the Athletic revealed that the Knicks engaged in an informal trade discussion with the Pelicans, having discussed Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis before the February NBA trade deadline. However, the Pelicans decided to wait for the summer to trade Davis so that the Boston Celtics — who are believed to be the team that can offer the best trade package — could join the bidding. Also, Isola said that former Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps first wanted to see which NBA teams will be landing the lottery picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
If the Knicks get the No. 1 overall pick, Dell Demps and Knicks President Steve Mills are expected to resume their trade negotiation centered on Anthony Davis, as the latter is reportedly intrigued by Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson. Kristaps Porzingis is no longer in New York, but the trade assets the Knicks received from the Dallas Mavericks may look attractive to the Pelicans.
However, if the Knicks and the Pelicans enter in another trade talk next summer, Steve Mills will be negotiating with a new general manager, seeing as how New Orleans recently fired Dell Demps. Isola believes that Demps’ firing will affect the Knicks’ chances of acquiring Anthony Davis in the 2019 NBA offseason, especially if the Pelicans hire former Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin or Boston Celtics Assistant General Manager Michael Zarren to replace Demps.
“The team has a much different relationship with former Cavaliers GM David Griffin, who is considered among the front-runners to replace Demps in New Orleans,” Arthur Hill of Hoops Rumors writes, citing the article written by Frank Isola of the Athletic. “Another source tells Isola that Griffin was considering an offer to become GM of the Knicks two years ago, but turned it down when he discovered he wouldn’t be solely in charge of personnel decisions. While Griffin was negotiating with New York, Mills signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a long-term contract.”
Meanwhile, Michael Zarren, another top candidate to become the new Pelicans GM, proves to be a major problem, not only for the Knicks but also for the Los Angeles Lakers. Zarren is seen as the right-hand man of Celtics President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge, and he has a knowledge of the young players Boston is willing to send to New Orleans for Anthony Davis.