The New York Knicks inquired on New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, and the price and other desires from executive David Griffin were reportedly set.
Whether or not the New York Knicks strike out in free agency, the trade market is a viable alternative, although Anthony Davis, for now, seems like the only superstar set to move. He requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans in January.
With the NBA Draft approaching — an opportune time to accumulate draft pick compensation in trades — Pelicans executive David Griffin gave his asking price for Davis, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
"Griffin is pursuing a combination of assets that include an All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks, league sources said. Those wants are on a sliding scale. For example, the better the player, the softer the asks on the draft picks — and vice versa."
The other interesting wrinkle is the potential of a three-team trade, which Griffin is also eyeing for Davis, since no one team has satisfied what he wants in a return package.
If Griffin sticks to that request, the Knicks will have a roadblock to acquiring Davis. They have a young player with All-Star potential in Mitchell Robinson and an abundance of future first-round picks, but not that current All-Star player.
Thus, the three-team prospect enters the fray. That could mean the Knicks send picks and player assets to not just New Orleans, but a third organization incentivized enough to become the final piece to the puzzle.
As Wojnarowski noted, though, those wants are “on a sliding scale.” New York may have to hope for this if they want Davis, including a bounty of first-round picks — maybe both acquired from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
There is the No. 3 pick to headline a deal, as well, and if Griffin wants RJ Barrett, it shifts to how much he values the Duke product, who could team up with Zion Williamson after playing side by side in college.
Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox are contracted players to potentially include. The Knicks can also pick up Damyean Dotson and Allonzo Trier‘s respective contracts to build on Griffin’s asking price.
None of them are All-Star players, but if a third team enters and helps the All-Star effort, it helps the Knicks’ chances, although Wojnarowski did not note who this could be.
The wild card in this is not just the usual suspects — the Knicks, Nets, Clippers and Lakers — inquiring on Davis, but small-market teams keeping tabs, similar to the Kawhi Leonard trade in 2018. If a surprise team satisfies the desired asking price, Davis could head somewhere else — a team willing to risk going all-in.
Aside from the free agency chaos, Davis’ potential departure from New Orleans, and whatever involvement the New York Knicks have, is arguably the top storyline of the summer, and it is far from its conclusion.