This turn of events could be an opening to help spur the Pelicans to find a deal for Davis prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, league sources said. The Knicks don’t have the assets to make a trade for Davis now, and the Lakers and Pelicans have yet to gain traction in talks. This appears to be an effort on the part of Davis and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, to facilitate a deal prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, and spare a prolonged stay into the offseason for Davis with the franchise.
More on Anthony Davis to Knicks?
The Knicks did call New Orleans about Anthony Davis, a source told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, but the Pelicans weren't interested in the Latvian. There was uncertainty over Porzingis' willingness to remain in New Orleans beyond his current contract, sources said.
One Eastern Conference executive cautioned that Paul might not have the same sway to deliver Davis as he did with LeBron. "The dad is going to have a say," the source said, referring to Anthony Davis Sr., who apparently is weighing the vast business potential of his son as the King of New York as opposed to the Prince of Bel-Air.
One NBA source indicated the Knicks, like most teams, would engage with the Pelicans and try to find a way into the negotiations. But to get into the mix for Davis would require the sort of shift that would break apart the Knicks’ plan before it could get started. The teams that have figured to be the front-runners for Davis have a huge head start.
According to a source, the Knicks still don’t know how the Pelicans want to proceed in a return package — whether they seek a long-term rebuild or inherit immediate assets. The Knicks have a ton of future assets, such as Robinson and likely a 2019 top-five lottery pick. Robinson is showing he can be a shotblocking machine. In Monday’s loss in Charlotte, Robinson blocked three shots — and got tagged with two goaltending violations. “The Pelicans have always liked Mitchell,” one NBA source said.
There were reports earlier this season Davis considered New York a potential destination to sign in 2020, but some wonder if that is true. If the Knicks package too many assets and deliver Kristaps Porzingis to New Orleans, they would leave the cupboard bare like they did in the Carmelo Anthony deadline deal in 2011. “[Davis] wants to play for a championship,” one NBA executive said. “I don’t see how the Knicks gut their talent in a trade and then have the personnel to get him to re-sign long-term.”
One NBA talent evaluator said the Knicks’ only major assets are Porzingis and their draft picks. “The only thing of value there to New Orleans is KP and more than one unprotected first-rounders,” he said.
Teams such as the Knicks and Davis’s hometown Chicago Bulls are among the many clubs expected to join the Lakers in pursuing a trade for Davis over the days leading to the 3 p.m. trade deadline on Feb. 7. Yet it might behoove New Orleans to wait until May to get serious about dealing its best player.
The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are preparing to make offers for New Orleans Pelicans superstar forward Anthony Davis, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Lakers’ brass had a meeting Monday morning in large part to coordinate the franchise’s plans, sources said.
Randy Cruz: Windhorst on the Knicks possible getting in the AD sweepstakes: "The New York Knicks need to decide whether they would be willing to make their No. 1 pick, unprotected this year, available. If they would, I believe they can put together a competitive offer that would help the Pelicans do a rebuild and they can get their hands on Anthony Davis in the next ten days. It would be a huge decision, but I think New York would be one of the few teams would be willing to sign an extension with. They are sort of the quiet lurker here."