Without a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster, the New York Knicks suffered another huge disappointment in the 2018-19 NBA season, failing to reach the Eastern Conference Playoffs for the sixth straight year. However, the Knicks aren’t expected to remain at the bottom of the league next year. In the 2019 NBA offseason, the Knicks have the opportunity to build a roster that can legitimately contend for the NBA championship title.
After trading the lucrative contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks before the February NBA trade deadline, the Knicks opened up enough salary cap space to sign two max free agents next July. Aside from the 2019 NBA free agency, the Knicks are also expected to be aggressive on the trade market where one of their top targets is Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. As of now, the Boston Celtics emerged as the top favorite to acquire Davis next summer but according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks’ chances of landing the All-Star center “increases” if they land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
“If the Knicks win the lottery and hold the rights to Zion Williamson, their chances of landing Davis, still on their radar, increases. But the Knicks know it’s not going to take Williamson alone — which is the major conundrum for the franchise.”
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) May 10, 2019
It’s not a secret that the Pelicans are interested in acquiring Zion Williamson. Williamson will be an incredible addition to the Pelicans, giving them a new face of the franchise if ever they decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild in the post-Anthony Davis era. However, as Berman noted, Williamson isn’t enough for the Knicks to convince the Pelicans to engage in a blockbuster deal.
A source reportedly told Berman that the Pelicans could also demand two of the Knicks’ young players, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, in their potential trade discussion next summer.
“According to a source, the Pelicans have interest in both of the Knicks’ 2018 draft picks, Kevin Knox, their lottery pick, and second-rounder Mitchell Robinson, who happens to reside 15 minutes outside of New Orleans, in Chalmette, La. The Pelicans were one of the teams who came away impressed by Knox’s potential after his summer league, though he suffered through a roller-coaster rookie year.”
As of now, it remains unknown how far the Knicks are willing to go in order to bring Anthony Davis to New York. However, they should do everything they can to acquire him if they succeed to sign their top targets, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics, in free agency. Having a “Big Three” of Davis, Durant, and Irving will not only help the Knicks return to the Eastern Conference Playoffs, but it could also give them a strong chance of ending their decades of title drought.