It seems the New York Knicks and their push to add star players may not include New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, at least not at this moment. While the Knicks were rumored to be in the mix for Davis early on in the process after he requested a trade, their recent deal may have changed things.
As the Los Angeles Lakers ramp up their efforts to strike a deal for Davis prior to the NBA trade deadline, they have competition, but it’s from a team who can’t make acquire him currently. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge encouraged the Pelicans to wait until the offseason to deal Davis and open talks with his team. Along with that, Ian Begley detailed that the Knicks haven’t spoken to the Pelicans since they moved Kristaps Porzingis.
It seems the Knicks may be content waiting for the offseason to attempt to use their recently-acquired cap space for 2019 free agency. But along with that, the recently reported offer from the Lakers for Davis may have also helped the Knicks realize that waiting for the offseason could be wise.
Lakers’ Huge Anthony Davis Offer Reportedly Declined
While this happened on Monday and surely didn’t play a role in New York backing off the Davis trade talks, how things panned out for Magic Johnson’s team opened a few eyes. As Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times revealed, the Lakers were reportedly willing to offer a deal with two first-round picks, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram, among other players.
The offer seemed like one the Pelicans could opt to run with, but that apparently won’t be the case. As Fletcher Mackel of WDSU revealed, the Pelicans are unlikely to take the offer and instead, have interest in making a run at Celtics young forward Jayson Tatum. Mackel reports the team believes it can get Tatum this summer in a trade.
Knicks’ Next Steps Forward
If the original plan was for the Knicks to head into free agency and make a run at the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, there’s nothing pointing to that changing. If anything, that plan may have been set in motion by the trade which sent Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks and brought back Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two picks.
As ESPN’s Bobby Marks revealed, the trade will leave the team potentially looking at $74.6 million in potential cap space next season.
New York has cleared a path for the potential to land one or two marquee free agents in free agency. Whether or not that pans out is the big question, but the above situation with the Lakers and Celtics may push Davis trade talks into the offseason. If that’s the case, the chances of the Knicks jumping back in may not be off the table, but we’ll have to play the wait-and-see game on that.
For now, though, the front office seems content moving forward through the rest of this season with their current group, barring something unforeseen happening.