Knicks Listed as Potential Landing Spot for $189 Million Superstar

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks reacts during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns.

After two consecutive lopsided losses, the New York Knicks find themselves once again submerged under the .500 threshold with a lackluster record of 8-9.

And while many assume that the club will likely once again be in the running for a lottery selection in June’s NBA Draft, a Western Conference exec recently told Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney that, should a star become available, Leon Rose and company could still be tempted to take a swing for the fences to try and bolster their talent pool.

When discussing the trade value of Los Angeles Lakers superstar big man Anthony Davis, the anonymous executive told Deveney that while many teams may be hesitant to embark on a trade pursuit, a star-less, big-market team like the Knicks could be willing to take the risk.

“A guy like Giannis or Luka, there would be 29 teams willing to make a deal. Davis, because of the injuries, that group is smaller,” the exec told Deveney. “Phoenix might be willing to gamble. The Bulls would because he is a Chicago guy.

“The Bucks have explored getting Davis there before, too. Big-market teams that want a home run, like the Knicks or Nets, they would be in the mix, too. But his value has taken a pretty big hit, obviously, in the last few years.”

A full-strength Davis would be a much-desired star presence within the Knicks’ rotation, as they haven’t rostered a perennial top-billed talent since the days of Carmelo Anthony.

When healthy, the 29-year-old has proven himself to be a top-75 player of all time and boasts stellar career averages of 23.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.4 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game on 51.6% shooting from the field.

However, even with this, it’s hard to believe that the Knicks would willingly piece together a lucrative enough package to swipe him away from the Lakers, especially when considering the draft compensation and financial gymnastics it would take to get a trade to work.

If they weren’t willing to strike a deal for the much younger and far healthier star guard Donovan Mitchell this past summer, it’s highly unlikely that they’d look to do so for an oft-injured near-30 big.

Knicks Believed to be ‘Hoarding’ Picks

Though they likely will not be pursuing a deal with the Lakers for Anthony Davis any time soon, this is not to say that the New York Knicks won’t be scouring the trade market for any star that becomes available in the near future.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium suggested on a November 9 episode of FanDuel’s “Run it Back” that the belief amongst many in the league is that the team’s front office is stockpiling picks so when the next top-flight talent becomes available they can strike.

“When I speak to executives around the league, they’re viewing and believing that the Knicks are kind of hoarding those first-round picks just waiting for that next megastar to become available,” Charania said.

Already it is reported that New York has been monitoring the situation between the OKC Thunder and budding star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander but, as we inch closer to the trade deadline on February 9, there could likely end up being several high-profile names rumored to be available on the block.

Exec Speaks on Knicks Guard’s Trade Value

Though a large chunk of attention as of late has been on who the Knicks could end up trading for this season, recent reports have shed light on who amongst their current crop of talents they could be willing to trade away and, per a November 18 report by Shams Charania, New York’s front office is “willing” to move third-year guard Immanuel Quickley.

While it may be hard to predict what a trade package involving the 23-year-old could look like if a deal were to be made, when it comes to his potential return value, an NBA executive told Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney that it could involve some sort of combination of draft capital and young prospects.

“They want picks. If they can get two first-rounders for Quickley, they would but that is too high a price. Maybe a young guy or a prospect playing in Europe, someone like that, and a first-rounder, a protected first-rounder, that is probably where the market ends up on him.”

The exec noted that, should they make any such transaction, the main objective for the Knicks is to bring on as many draft picks as possible, for, in their eyes, the organization is “approaching things like there will be a star who they can get,” and mentioned Gilgeous-Alexander, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Kevin Durant as a few possible targets.

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