Despite having a plethora of trade assets and enough salary cap space for two max contracts, the New York Knicks still failed to acquire their top targets in the free agency and trade markets in the 2019 NBA offseason. However, it seems like the Knicks didn’t really make a strong push toward adding a legitimate superstar to their roster. Aside from backing out with their pursuit of some of the big names in the free agency, the Knicks also canceled their plan to trade for Anthony Davis. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, New York was “turned off” by the New Orleans Pelicans’ high asking price for the All-Star center.
“Unlike other major stars recently, Davis had expressed interest in playing for the Knicks,” Windhorst wrote. “But [president Steve] Mills and [general manager Scott] Perry told people they were turned off by the Pelicans’ high asking price of multiple first-round picks plus multiple young players, even though the Knicks had that type of package thanks to their Porzingis trade. They said it would have undercut their long-range plan of building through the draft and developing picks into stars.”
When the Pelicans made Davis officially available on the trade market last summer, several teams have expressed a strong interest in adding him to their roster. However, during that time, Davis only named two teams where he would reportedly consider staying on a long-term basis. The first was his current team, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the other one was the Knicks.
It is still a big question mark if the Knicks made the right decision not to trade for Davis last summer. Davis likely wouldn’t have turned the Knicks into an instant title contender, but his arrival would have made them a more competitive team in the 2019-20 season. With their current roster, the Knicks are once again expected to suffer through another disappointing year. As of now, the Knicks are sitting in the No. 14 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 3-9 record.
Though they refused to part ways with valuable trade assets to acquire Davis, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Knicks are already giving up with their pursuit of the big man. The Knicks purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts with the goal of preserving their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2020, where Davis is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
However, though he’s yet to give them an assurance that he would re-sign, most people don’t see Davis leaving the Lakers for the Knicks or any other team in the 2020 free agency period. According to a previous The Inquisitr article, a source told The Athletic that Davis would be inking a new deal with the Lakers, as long as they “don’t f–k it up” in the current season.