Due to Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant’s apparent Achilles injury in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Monday, there’s a chance that his suitors may have to look at other options to strengthen their rosters. That includes the New York Knicks, who have long been linked to Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans but have traditionally lagged behind the Los Angeles Lakers as the top favorite to acquire the All-Star big man.
As a new report from SportsNet New York’s Ian Begley suggests, the Knicks were apparently in talks with the Pelicans regarding a possible trade for Davis even before Durant’s injury, though New Orleans officials were not impressed by the offers New York made — nor did they consider offers from other teams to be satisfactory. Citing the publication’s sources, Begley added that the Knicks followed up by “[engaging] in some dialogue” with other teams in an effort to present a better offer for Davis, but were hesitant to give up “significant” assets for the 26-year-old superstar forward/center.
Regarding the reason why some Knicks officials were supposedly “uncomfortable” with possibly giving up these assets, Begley wrote that the team is trying to avoid a similar situation to what happened when they traded for Carmelo Anthony midway through the 2010-11 NBA season.
While the Knicks were hoping that acquiring Anthony from the Denver Nuggets would turn them into a championship contender, the team only had limited success in the playoffs during his six-and-a-half seasons with the team. As shown on the Knicks’ Basketball-Reference team index, the team lost twice in the first round and was eliminated once during the Eastern Conference Semifinals between 2011 and 2013. The latter playoff defeat also marked the last time New York made it to postseason play.
According to Bleacher Report, the events of the past few weeks have put the New York Knicks’ offseason plans at risk of “falling apart.” Aside from Durant’s injury possibly forcing him to opt into the final year of his contract with the Warriors, Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving — once a “virtual lock” to sign with New York — has been linked more recently to the Knicks’ Atlantic Division rivals, the Brooklyn Nets. A separate Bleacher Report article also noted that as far as Davis is concerned, the Lakers are now “huge” betting-line favorites to acquire the Pelicans star, with the Knicks lagging far behind at second.
On the other hand, the outlet noted that New York still has a few things to look forward to this summer, even if they whiff on Durant, Irving, and Davis, as they hold the No. 3 pick in next week’s NBA draft and are expected to use the selection on highly-regarded Duke wingman R.J. Barrett.