Knicks Trade Rumors: Pelicans have gathered ‘intel’ on Kevin Knox

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly gathered “intel” on New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox.

The New York Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans once discussed an Anthony Davis trade earlier this year, when Kristaps Porzingis was on the roster and Dell Demps still led the New Orleans front office. Much has changed since, but maybe not working together.

Per SNY’s Ian Begley, the Pelicans “were quietly gathering some intel” on Kevin Knox, New York’s 2018 first-round pick.

While the ties to previous events are obvious, Begley noted how this is a normal practice for teams to learn about opposing players:

"Now, it’s common for teams to gather information on players. That’s part of the job of the front office/scouting department. But the uncertainty surrounding Davis’ future in New Orleans makes their information-gathering on Knox (which was happening before Griffin took over) intriguing."

Thus, this might mean nothing; but New Orleans has a new face leading their basketball operations, David Griffin, who once created the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers roster that won that year’s NBA Finals.

Griffin said he already spoke to Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, including what “we” could build with the Pelicans, which took this midseason saga down a surprise alley.

After the hoopla of Davis’ public trade request and the awkward playing-time situation for the rest of 2018-19, when the Pelicans’ old regime and the Lakers could not strike a deal, it would be a surprise to see these sides stay together through the summer.

If Griffin explores the trade market, the Knicks are a logical team to discuss with, given their odds at the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and the contracted young talent in place, including Knox.

Winning the lottery only improves with a 14 percent chance to become — probably — Zion Williamson, who’s the prize of the upcoming draft class. Headling a deal with him, like Griffin himself, did in 2014 with Andrew Wiggins to acquire Kevin Love from Minnesota, is an option. One would figure there is more to the deal, featuring Knox, Frank Ntilikina or more first-round picks.

As for Knox, his rookie year featured the natural highs and lows of a first-year player. he won the December Rookie of the Month award, but also shot just 37 percent and 34.3 percent on three-pointers in usually heavy minutes.

The Kentucky product was recently praised by head coach David Fizdale for developments made in offseason workouts. While any progress is significant for someone as young as Knox, it could be for another team, pending this “gathering intel” is for trade talks, especially with draft season near.

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The chance to acquire Anthony Davis is tantalizing, and potentially adding him to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving creates one of the best rosters in franchise history. Whether the Pelicans approach them, or a suitor like the Boston Celtics steps up first, remains to be seen, but if the New York Knicks are willing to strike a deal, this becomes one of the summer’s most interesting storylines.