In the morning hours of November 8, the folks at Bleacher Report put out a piece discussing possible trade destinations for big man Anthony Davis if he were to be shopped by the Lakers, and found mentioned along with three other ball clubs was the New York Knicks.
Within the piece, writer Grant Hughes constructed one trade idea for each of the four teams listed and, when it came to the Knickerbockers, his proposal read as follows:
New York Knicks receive:
- Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers receive:
- RJ Barrett
- Mitchell Robinson
- Obi Toppin
- Quentin Grimes
- 2023 first-round pick
- 2023 first-round pick (via DET, WAS, DAL)
- 2025 first-round pick (Via MIL)
Now, while Anthony Davis is an eight-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection, a four-time All-Defensive selection, and a top-75 player of all time, since signing his lofty $189 million max contract back during the 2020 offseason the big man has struggled mightily both with injuries and efficiency when found on the floor, playing in just 84 of a potential total of 164 games during this stretch.
The idea of seeing the Knicks swap out several key young members of their current core, most notably RJ Barrett, along with three future first-round picks in exchange for an oft-injured, soon-to-be 30-year-old big man making an annual salary of $37.9 million could certainly be argued as being rather egregious, and it appears that a large portion of the fanbase seems to agree.
Knicks Fans Slam Davis Trade Proposal
It didn’t take long for Knicks fans to take to social media to give their opinions on Bleacher Report’s trade proposal for Anthony Davis, as the KnicksMuse Twitter page went on to post a screenshot image of the hypothetical exchange, and couldn’t help but share their unfiltered thoughts on it.
Another Twitter user questioned the logic behind Hughes’ trade idea by mentioning how the Knicks weren’t even willing to part ways with Barrett for the much younger and far healthier Donovan Mitchell this past summer.
Others simply flat-out stated that the proposal was one of the worst they’d ever seen.
If the Knicks were to execute this trade, in a nutshell, they’d be coughing up four promising players all under the age of 25, and several future first-round selections for a highly-priced former All-Star who plays the same position as their own former All-Star in Julius Randle and who has played just 51% of his team’s games over the last three years.
Trade Proposal Lands Knicks Two-Way Wing
Though Bleacher Report seemingly dropped the ball with their latest trade idea involving Anthony Davis, on November 7 one of their other writers, Greg Swartz, actually managed to concoct a proposal that, if executed, could prove to be quite beneficial for the New York Knicks.
The idea: send high-priced sharpshooter Evan Fournier to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Will Barton.
“Barton is a reliable wing who the Knicks can plug into their rotation immediately,” Swartz wrote “He offers more playmaking than Fournier and is hitting 40.6 percent of his threes for the Wizards.
“His expiring $14.4 million contract means New York can open up $18.9 million worth of cap space next summer by flipping Fournier for him now. Considering the Wizards rank 27th in three-point accuracy this season, Fournier could become a rotation piece and floor-spacer that would slot well alongside Bradley Beal.”
This hypothetical swap would not only help the Knicks from a talent and skill perspective but it would also end up helping them financially, as Fournier still has at least another year under contract, and has a club option for 2024-25, at an average salary of $18.6 million while Barton’s deal comes off the books after this season.
In Swartz’s eyes, even if the Knicks had to cough up a future pick in the process, such a move could easily prove to be well worth it.