After failing to reach the Western Conference Playoffs in LeBron James’ first year wearing the Purple and Gold, the Los Angeles Lakers became more aggressive in upgrading their roster this summer. Despite their inability to secure a deal before the February NBA trade deadline, the Lakers still managed to acquire All-Star center Anthony Davis in the 2019 NBA offseason by trading Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans.
With the presence of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and a bunch of quality players they signed in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Lakers have succeeded to turn themselves from one of the worst NBA teams in the league to a legitimate title contender in the deep Western Conference. As of now, the Lakers are one of the top favorites to win the 2020 NBA championship title. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the outcome of the 2019-20 NBA season will be vital for the Lakers as it could affect Davis’ decision when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
A source who spoke to the New York Post revealed that if the Lakers “implode” next season, Anthony Davis may consider leaving Los Angeles for New York in the 2020 NBA free agency.
“Looking at the big picture, Mills sees this as the start of the third season of a rebuilding plan — with the Knicks still having an opportunity to add a final-piece superstar, whether via trade or free agency, because of their cap flexibility from the series of one-year pacts. The 2020 free-agent pool is short on stars, but they could be one of the favorites for big fish Anthony Davis if the Lakers implode. Rich Paul, Davis’ agent, likes the idea of his client in New York, according to a source.”
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) August 11, 2019
The Knicks may have failed to acquire their top targets in the 2019 NBA free agency, but they remain optimistic about their chances of adding a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster. Aside from having enough trade assets to engage in a blockbuster deal, the Knicks purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2020. Anthony Davis may currently be a member of the Lakers but since the blockbuster deal, he is not giving them any assurance that he will re-sign when he becomes an unrestricted agent, giving the Knicks the chance to steal him in the 2020 NBA free agency.
When Anthony Davis demanded a trade from the Pelicans, the Lakers and the Knicks were rumored to be the only NBA teams where “The Brow” will consider staying long-term. However, even if the Lakers struggle in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Knicks will need to have a tremendous improvement on their roster to further convince Davis to leave Los Angeles for New York next summer.