With the Anthony Davis trade saga ongoing, his agent, Rich Paul, said why the New York Knicks are an appealing destination.
As Anthony Davis nears his inevitable exit from the New Orleans Pelicans, he wants to join one of two teams for the long-term: the New York Knicks or the Los Angeles Lakers, according to The Athletic.
It dates back to the original Davis rumors in January, when the trade request went public. The Knicks and Lakers were the two most-speculated teams, and it could come down to them, barring another organization swoops in, much like the Toronto Raptors when the Clippers were the main destination for Kawhi Leonard in 2018.
Why the Knicks, though? Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, said his latest, boldest words on why the Big Apple is appealing, despite no recent success, per Sports Illustrated:
"“The only difference is, they don’t have as many championships as the Lakers. They got a tradition. It’s a big market—not that it’s only big markets. They have cap space, flexibility, they’re able to absorb more than one star. What’s wrong with that?”"
Paul also said Davis will enter free agency in 2020, so no matter which organization takes him, there is a one-year grace period. They seem to like New York, with the aforementioned aspects breaking down as such:
New York City speaks for itself. From the bright lights to Time Square, Madison Avenue and all the marketing ability for someone like Anthony Davis, it is difficult to fault them for wanting this. The same applies to Los Angeles.
The Knicks opened more than $70 million in cap space this summer, allowing Davis to fold into the payroll without issue. The same for if he re-signs in 2020.
Ability to absorb more than one star
It breaks down to the ability to play with more than one star. Davis can do this in Los Angeles with LeBron James, but the potential exists for two of them to join in New York, pending the front office can sign whoever it is in free agency and make the trade with New Orleans.
Everything Davis and Paul want is there — almost. The Knicks may need another superstar to tempt the Kentucky product to re-sign after 2019-20, whether that is risking on Kevin Durant or signing Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving.
The Lakers already have James, which can play in their favor in his final two seasons under contract. The market is there and the payroll space to absorb his future contract.
All of this is also moot for the Knicks if they can’t meet the Pelicans’ asking price. Moving player assets wipes out most of the roster. Plus, the potential bounty of draft picks needed to complete a deal.
So while Davis and Paul like the New York Knicks, matching them will take a few hurdles to overcome before making this a reality.