Knicks Trade Rumors: Anthony Davis has NYK, Lakers on ‘equal footing’

New York Knicks Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Browne/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Anthony Davis has the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks on “equal footing,” which keeps a trade alive for the Knicks.

Once the New York Knicks traded their best asset, Kristaps Porzingis, to the Dallas Mavericks, it seemingly ended their chances at Anthony Davis, who requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. A recent development, however, might keep the Knicks alive.

Per Marc Stein of the New York Times, Davis has the Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers on “equal footing.” The Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks, though, remain “preferred destinations” on his four-team list.

The catch, as Stein added: Davis wants to play out his contract and become a free agent in 2020.

That doesn’t mean a Davis-to-the-Knicks is guaranteed at all. The Lakers already had a dialogue with New Orleans for their star. Even though that, as of this writing, stalled, Los Angeles can at any point return to the forefront and acquire the star they desperately need next to LeBron James.

At this point, though, with Porzingis and two large contracts (Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee) gone, what’s left to move?

The Knicks are not without assets, with Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina and Allonzo Trier around. Dennis Smith Jr. represents one, as well, but the team has barely seen what he can do as the potential point guard of the future.

New York’s 2019 first-round pick is the key. With a 10-43 record, no matter where they fall in the lottery, it should become a top-seven pick, at worst. But, if in the top three, it can become the deal’s focus, with Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant among the projected top players in the 2019 NBA Draft.

For anything the Knicks trade, it may just be for one year of Davis. Even if he says he’ll re-sign, there’s still the risk of another team tempting him in free agency. New York then loses him for nothing.

This is a transcendent talent that arrives once in a generation, however. Taking a chance on him to stay long term could be worth it, even with much on the line.

If Davis arrives in the Big Apple, this also becomes an appealing destination for prospective free agents. That includes Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the free agents most often linked to the Knicks. Aligning these three gives the Knicks a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference.

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That’s looking three steps ahead as the Lakers, Clippers and Bucks can all make their play for Davis, too. Either way, it’s a fascinating storyline.