Kevin Durant injury aside, after the Brooklyn Nets opened a contract slot, the New York Knicks need to trade for Anthony Davis.
The last few days have been a whirlwind for the New York Knicks and their fans. The Brooklyn Nets made a major splash by shedding Allen Crabbe‘s contract to give them a legit shot at two max contracts this summer, one of which could be Kyrie Irving. This is dangerous and scary news for the Knicks.
The biggest appeal the Knicks provided was a big market and playing at Madison Square Garden, one of the most iconic arenas in the world. The Nets now can match that offer as a big market plus they were a playoff team last year. As they would say “the ball is in the Knick’s court.” They need to hit a home run. Trading for Anthony Davis would be the move to make.
The Carmelo Anthony trade still lurks, the way it gutted the roster to acquire him. It still was the right move as the NBA is all about the superstars. Sure, some are more overrated, but you need the pull the trigger to acquire them when you get the chance.
Davis is a significantly better all-around player than Anthony and this summer feels very different than 2010. 2010 it felt like the Knicks needed to pitch stars like LeBron or Dwyane Wade, while 2019 it feels like the players want to come here, just as long the Knicks don’t screw it up. All year, Kevin Durant and Irving were linked to the Knicks, adding Davis would just about seal that scenario.
Davis even with all the distractions was one of the most productive players in the NBA. He finished averaging 25.9 point and 12 rebounds and 3.9 assists per a game. He finished top ten in PER, EWA and had a 9.5 win shares good for 14th in the NBA. The offensive numbers are great but what sets him apart from Anthony is the defense. The Pelicans gave up nearly three more points per a game with him off the court, and he finished with +8.7 on/off the court metrics, an impressive number on a very poorly constructed team.
The one knock on Davis is the health. The most games he has played is 75 and is consistently in the 60s in terms of games played, which is worrisome. On a better team, Davis would not have to carry the weight as much, which would put less pressure on his body and more opportunities to rest. Like Kawhi Leonard this year a “load management plan” could keep him healthier for the long season.
The Knicks want to a be contender next year trading for Davis is a must. The new era of basketball requires a so-called “Big 3”, all the teams that have won have had a combination of three stars. The Warriors had a “Big 4.” The Cavs had LeBron James, Irving and Kevin Love. The Heat had Wade, Chris Bosh and James, and the list goes on. This year’s playoffs are a perfect example look at teams like Portland or Houston, they lacked a third star and that caused their downfall, even with the Warriors struggling with injuries.
The Nets made a stunning move and have earned themselves a seat at the table. The Knicks need to counter and put out a strong offer for Anthony Davis, who gives them a difference maker in appeal for the other stars. Both Wade and LeBron talked about 2010 and that the appeal for them was to play together with Bosh and only Miami could offer that.
This summer, if three guys want to play together, the Knicks are the team with the best shot to offer that. No team can offer Davis, Durant and Irving a chance to play together and that is what the Knicks should be selling to these players this summer.