With the offseason nearly here, the New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly begun telling teams what they would have to give up in order to get Anthony Davis, and the Knicks are among those that have apparently been asking about AD.
When David Griffin was initially hired by the New Orleans Pelicans, he insisted there was a world in which Davis stayed put. On Monday however, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Griffin seems to have changed his tune and is now taking stock of the marketplace.
Unsurprisingly, the Knicks are among a group of teams that have been inquiring about Davis. That list also includes the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, as well as the Brooklyn Nets, per Woj. That list could get longer, Woj said, as teams may be more willing to take a chance on one season of Davis because of what we’ve seen this year from Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.
ESPN Sources: New Orleans EVP of Basketball Operations David Griffin has started to provide Anthony Davis' trade suitors with the framework of the package he's seeking in a deal ---- which is likely to need multiple teams to complete. Story: https://t.co/hKZcySwpsG— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2019
Griffin has begun reaching out to teams to let them know that in order to land AD, they should be prepared to trade a bundle of assets featuring an All-Star-caliber player and a young player with the potential to one day become an All-Star, in addition to two first-round picks. Depending on the specifics of a given offer, the Pelicans could be willing to alter their needs, Woj said.
Alright, let’s take stock. Do the Knicks have an All-Star? No. Well, DeAndre Jordan was an All-Star once, but he’s a free agent this summer. Do G-League All-Stars count? Because, no big deal, but John Jenkins was among those named a G-League All-Star this year.
Okay, maybe the Knicks don’t have a current NBA All-Star, but do they at least have a young player with the potential to eventually be an All-Star? Maybe, if you think Kevin Knox or Mitchell Robinson might one day be that good. Dennis Smith Jr. did participate in the Dunk Contest last year, so he’s kind of an All-Star, right? The Knicks also could select R.J. Barrett with the third pick, a guy people seem to think could be an All-Star one day.
Speaking of which, do the Knicks have draft picks? Uh, yeah. They have a whole bunch of those, including two future firsts that were received in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks that took place this past February.
Glancing at the assets the Knicks have to offer, one might wonder why the Pelicans would even pick up the phone. Unless they are high, or alternatively, unless they are as high on Mitch as those in Knicksworld, it seems like the competing suitors could probably pony up a better bid. That being said, Woj noted that the Pelicans are aware their best bet might be to include a third team in a trade, further complicating matters.
The Knicks, of course, have been planning to be aggressive in their pursuit of Davis for quite some time. For those lucky few who have not been staying up to date on the exact plan Scott Perry and Steve Mills are hoping to put in place, the team is looking to grab AD and pair him with some upcoming free agents.
Davis is a supremely talented basketball player. In fact, he’s so good that the Knicks should probably be prepared to give up a whole lot in order to get him. The problem is that the Knicks will likely either not have what it takes to get him, or, in the event they could get him, would have to give up literally the entire farm, including the barn, the pigs, the trough the pigs eat out of, the goats, the rights to the Haunted Hayride, everything. There would be no farm left.
That said, a trade for AD would not be the same as when the Knicks traded for Carmelo Anthony. Davis is taller and a better overall player — especially on the defensive end — and should have more of his prime left than Melo did when he made his way to the Big Apple.
The Knicks should certainly try to trade for Davis, but they should also be careful. What happens if and when you trade everything for AD, strike out in free agency and then have a terrible season next year with Davis and a ragtag group of nobodies? The answer is that Davis flees as a free agent next summer, and the Knicks are in an even worse position than they are right now.
Reading that over, it actually seems likely.