We all know about the Los Angeles Lakers‘ at the February deadline, but somewhat lost in all that drama was the fact that the New York Knicks, before they moved Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, also spoke with the Pelicans about Davis’ availability. Surely a lot of teams kicked the Davis tires, but the Knicks had, and still have, a unique asset in their pocket to offer: The potential No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, which will almost certainly equate to Zion Williamson.
Now, according to Ian Begley of SNY, the Pelicans have quietly been gathering intel on the Knicks’ lottery pick from a year ago, Kevin Knox, who could presumably be a part of a trade package along with New York’s first round pick this year, wherever that winds up falling. The draft order will be revealed this coming Tuesday, with the Knicks, Cavs and Suns, who had the three worst records in the league this season, all having a 14-percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick.
“[There is] information that’s still out there,” a league source told CBS Sports post-trade deadline when talking about why the Pelicans chose to hold off trading Davis to the Lakers or anyone else. “Who is going to end up with the No. 1 pick?”
Clearly you can at least start to connect a few dots here. Now, to be clear, teams are constantly gathering intel on players around the league, and the report that the Pelicans are looking at Knox doesn’t automatically mean an Anthony Davis trade is anywhere near in the works. But with the strong possibility of the Knicks landing the rights to Zion Williamson, it would be remiss to not consider the possibility of something eventually happening here.
Again, the Knicks inquired about Davis already, and if they do end up with the No. 1 pick, that’s a pretty intriguing trade chip for a team like New Orleans to start a rebuild around. From the Knicks’ side, you could justify giving up a potential franchise player in Williamson and your first-round pick from a year ago, along with other assets, for a guy like Davis because, remember, they also have room to add two max-contract free agents this summer.
If the Knicks were just going to get Davis on a potential one-year rental with nothing alongside him, you couldn’t justify giving up so much young equity. But with New York considered one of the favorites to land Kevin Durant and/or Kyrie Irving, or one or two of the other big-name free agents coming available this summer (including Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins), a championship-ready roster could feasibly come together in the matter of a few weeks.
Just something to keep an eye on.