New York Knicks: Can they still land Anthony Davis?

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

Following a disappointing lottery, the New York Knicks hold the third overall pick in this year’s draft. Does New York still possess the assets necessary to offer the Pelicans a worthy package for Anthony Davis?

After a season of tanking, the New York Knicks’ dream of pairing generational Duke prospect Zion Williamson with their budding young core is officially dead. Entering last night’s lottery, many speculated if the Knicks did land the draft’s top pick, they would offer the selection in a package for New Orleans star Anthony Davis. After landing the third overall pick, do the Knicks have any chance at acquiring the “Brow”?

When evaluating the Knicks’ course of action during the upcoming offseason, it is clear the team has prioritized putting themselves in a position to go all in on free agency. With the possibility of bringing established superstars such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to New York, it made sense to explore acquiring a star via trade in order to make the team a more attractive destination. It was presumed that whoever landed this year’s top draft choice would be in the driver’s seat if they wished to pursue a trade for Davis, but the possibility of a Williamson for Davis deal is effectively dead after New Orleans received the top pick.

The Knicks now must determine if the team’s young assets are capable of creating a trade offer rivaling those of the Lakers and Celtics, two squads who have been previously linked to Davis. When looking at New York’s current roster, the team’s assets lie mostly in future draft selections, as well as a couple of key sophomores. If the Knicks truly wish to go all in on Davis, their offer would have to begin with this year’s first-round pick, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson.

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The Pelicans have reportedly done their homework on Knox in anticipation of a trade offer, and there is no question Robinson carries value after an impressive rookie season. It was clear after the lottery that Williamson was less than thrilled with the possibility of playing in New Orleans.

For a team that looks to rebuild around young talent, bringing frustration into the locker room is not ideal for reconstructing a winning culture.

If New Orleans received the Knicks’ upcoming first round pick, they would likely be in a position to select Williamson’s college teammate RJ Barrett. Exchanging the final year of a disgruntled Davis for three promising young players, one of which could please their new franchise player, will undoubtedly be intriguing for the Pelicans.

While the Knicks’ offer may appear to include all the Pelicans can hope for, tough competition will come from other big market teams looking to add Davis to the fold. The Lakers have tried for months to pair LeBron James with his Klutch sports buddy, and after lucking into the fourth pick in this year’s draft they may be willing to sell the farm to form a dynamic duo. An offer including Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and the fourth overall pick may be more than the Lakers are willing to part with, but it’s hard to imagine the Pelicans not giving serious consideration to such a monster package.

While a potential Lakers’ offer may appear troubling to Knicks fans hoping to land Davis, the Celtics have the ability to likely trump any package of young assets from other franchises. The Celtics have long coveted a big man with the worldly talent of Davis and could form an offer that would make David Griffin immediately send the Knicks to voicemail. The Celtics have a trove of untapped potential in young forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum as well as a load of future draft picks.

The Celtics’ offseason approach likely depends on the fate of impending free agent Kyrie Irving; they may be less willing to part with their young players if Irving goes elsewhere. Nonetheless, Davis will begin the season in Boston if the Celtics are willing to go all out in their pursuit.

Next. 2019 NBA Mock Draft: The lottery's aftermath. dark

The Knicks do have the pieces necessary to compose a trade offer the Pelicans will consider, and it is conceivable that Davis still lands in New York if the Lakers, Celtics, and other potential suitors are less aggressive. Davis could don the orange and blue next season, the lottery has simply ensured that the Knicks don’t control their own destiny in creating the most attractive offer.