The New Orleans Pelicans became the center of controversies when the face of the franchise, Anthony Davis, expressed his desire to leave before the February NBA trade deadline. Davis reportedly informed the Pelicans that he has no intention of signing the massive contract extension that they are planning to offer next summer and wants to be traded to a team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship.
Despite receiving interesting offers before the February NBA deadline, the Pelicans decided to wait for the summer of 2019 to move Anthony Davis to the Boston Celtics, who are believed to be the team that can offer the best trade package, could join the bidding. However, it seems like the Celtics aren’t the only reason why the Pelicans delayed trading Davis. In a recent interview with Brian Giuffra of The Big Lead, New York Daily News‘ Stefan Bondy revealed that the Pelicans “would love” to trade Davis to the New York Knicks if they acquire Zion Williamson in the 2019 NBA Draft.
“It’s typical Knicks that the year they finally really know how to tank is the year that the NBA changes the lottery rules so it’s not so advantageous to be the worst team in the league. But I think they would love to have him,” Bondy said when asked if the Knicks are banking on Williamson.
“The interesting debate is, if they did get that No. 1 pick, and if they did bring Durant in, would they then trade Zion Williamson for Anthony Davis, because certainly New Orleans would love that trade. So that would be the interesting question if they do get the No. 1 pick and find out that Kevin Durant was coming to New York.”
Keeping Zion Williamson would be a wise option for the Knicks if they plan to have a long-term rebuild. However, when they traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks for salary cap space, it became crystal clear that the Knicks intend to build a roster that can contend for the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season. After dumping the lucrative contracts of Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr., the Knicks opened up two max slots for the 2019 NBA free agency.
If they succeed to acquire the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, there is a strong chance that the Knicks will consider using Zion Williamson as the main trade chip to acquire Anthony Davis from the Pelicans next summer. The “Big Three” of Durant, Davis, and Irving will not only help the Knicks rise to the top of the Eastern Conference, but it will also give them a real chance of beating the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in a best-of-seven series.