No I do not have any insider information on Anthony Davis coming to the Knicks but I have a strong suspicion he will be a New York Knick. The simple reason is despite what “NBA Experts” say, the Knicks can offer the Pelicans the best deal out of the rumored teams involved. Lets look at the potential teams to land Anthony Davis.
I know everyone loves Danny Ainge but quite frankly I think he has vastly over valued his “assets” and I believe the Celtics window is now closed. Last season was the year to unload all these picks and get Kyrie Irving another superstar so that the Celtics could make a real run at a NBA Title, this year. He failed to do that and now has the Celtics in position to not even make the NBA Finals, as I think they are no better than the 4th best team in the east (Raptors, Bucks, 76ers), and potentially can lose Kyrie Irving this offseason on top of that. Now, the Celtics have to wait until the summer to even be able to offer a trade for a player like Anthony Davis and by that point, Kyrie Irving could be long gone. Yes the Celtics have plenty of first round picks but this is not the NFL and those mid first round picks do not hold nearly as much value. Why Ainge should have made this kind of move last offseason is due primarily to the fact that the Sacramento Kings pick, which going into this season, GM’s would have rated as the most valuable asset considering it was only top 1 protected, has floundered in value due to the Kings good season. Right now that Kings pick is slated to be around number 16 overall with a legit chance to drop even lower. The Grizzlies pick they own is top 8 protected, so the best a team could do there is 9th overall and the Clippers pick is top 14 protected. The Celtics also have their own pick which is going to be in the 20’s range. So basically none of those assets are going to land the Pelicans or anyone else any shot to draft a no doubt franchise player. The picks are still appealing but considering what the Knicks could offer in a shot at number 1 overall pick and the chance to draft Zion Williamson that trumps in my opinion all the Celtics picks combined. Just look at the last 40 years of NBA drafts and ask yourself “Would you rather a top 3 pick in any of those drafts or 4 picks between 9-30?” Some drafts maybe but the majority of drafts the top 5 or so players brings championships, not the mid round guys. Just because you get the top pick doesn’t always mean you draft the correct players but the majority of drafts have a finite level of franchise players if any and the odds of getting one 9-30 are not good. That leads to the Celtics young players already on the team. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are really the only players who I think hold any value to other teams on the Celtics. Terry Rozier has value but is an upcoming restricted free agent and at this point does anyone feel comfortable handing him a big contract. Tatum and Brown are nice players but neither are stars and both have flawed games. Jaylen Brown is a terribly inconstant shooter who does not due much on the defensive side of the court and Tatum is a basically a mid range jump shooter. Neither guy to me screams future top 2 or 3 player on a championship team. The Knicks have Kevin Knox, who to me already is already on the same level of those 2 guys. They also have a guy like Mitchell Robinson and Frank Ntilikina, who has plenty of upside and if it goes into the summer they can also dangle Alonzo Trier.
The Lakers have no shot here in my opinion. Number one the Pelicans do not want to trade him to a western conference team and number 2 any Lakers package is far behind the Knicks and Celtics. Kyle Kuzma is a good player but in the same league as Knox and Tatum at the end of the day. Josh hart and Ivan Zubac are bench players on a good team. Lonzo Ball is often injured and would have value anyway but has already said he does not want to go to New Orleans, so the last thing the Pelicans need as a franchise is the player they trade for Anthony Davis to be asking to leave as well. The Lakers draft pick is not exciting either because once LeBron James comes back the Lakers will win enough games and if they added Davis they would really take off.
Bottom line is if the Knicks offered Kevin Knox, Tim Hardaway Jr, 2019 first round pick and 2021 first round pick I think they land Anthony Davis compared to the Celtics package or the Lakers. Anthony Davis is a top 5 player in the NBA and at 25 years old is worth the risk for any of these teams. I just think the Knicks are in prime position to finally land that franchise changing player and have enough left over to build a great team around him between cap space and Kristaps Porzingis.