The Knicks (along with the Cavs and Suns) have the best chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s draft and the rights to draft Zion Williamson. But, as good of a prospect as Williamson is, he still hasn’t played a minute in the NBA, and as a result, the Pelicans’ would still want a package surrounding Williamson should the Knicks seek a trade for All-Star big man Anthony Davis, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post.
New Orleans’ new head of basketball operations David Griffin plans to meet with Davis to discuss him staying in The Big Easy, but reports suggest Davis still wants to leave. If the Knicks are serious about a potential trade for Davis, some reports suggest it may take Williamson (making Tuesday’s lottery all the more important), Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson to get a deal done.
Another possibility that would cost the Knicks even more (per ESPN’s Bobby Marks) would be Williamson, Knox, Frank Ntilikina, and Dallas’ two future first-round picks that the Mavericks traded to New York in exchange for Kristaps Porzingis.
Either deal may seem like quite a haul for just one player, even one as good as Davis, but an interesting dynamic comes into play if the Knicks are able to lure Warriors’ forward Kevin Durant away in free agency. Durant, now 30, and likely to be seeking more championships wherever he signs this summer, would all but assuredly prefer Davis over Williamson at this stage in both of their careers.
If Williamson is drafted by the Knicks, Durant could push the issue of New York trading Zion for Davis, regardless of the cost. Williamson may have generational talent, but the Knicks are reportedly unsure whether he will ever rise to the stratosphere of LeBron James (or Davis, for that matter), the superstar to whom the 18-year-old phenom is most often compared, so Durant’s preference could be an important factor.