And there is an underrated thing to remember here with Porzingis. He doesn’t exactly have the best relationship with Knicks management going back to his frustrations with Phil Jackson. What if he finds out he is being actively shopped in trade talks, but New York doesn’t actually complete a deal for Davis? The Knicks would lose Davis and alienate their “Unicorn.”It could make more sense for the Knicks to re-evaluate where they stand in the summer once they know their draft position, can survey the free-agent landscape and have a solid idea on the status of Porzingis’ knee.Sure, if a no-brainer deal presents itself, take it. But the Knicks don’t have LeBron, and they probably aren’t the top option for Davis. It’s important New York’s front office keeps that in mind. MORE: Pelicans’ patience with Davis is bad news for LakersThis isn’t a “Lakers Only” party, though, as much as Magic Johnson would like it to be. The Pelicans could wait until after the trade deadline when the Celtics can offer arguably the best package of assets. A blue chip prospect like Jayson Tatum plus multiple first-round picks would beat any offer from the Lakers.But there is another team lurking just behind the Lakers and Celtics. The Knicks are “intent on making themselves a factor” in Davis trade talks, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.Chasing Davis marks a strategy shift for the Knicks, a franchise that has shown patience as part of its rebuild. A player of Davis’ caliber can be worth it, but should New York adopt LA’s “Davis-or-bust” mentality?Why the Knicks should trade for Anthony DavisWell, let’s point out the obvious: Davis is really, really good at basketball. He is a five-time All-Star in the midst of the best season of his career (29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocks, 1.7 steals per game), and at age 25, he still has plenty of prime years left. If they know Davis is on the way, the Knicks will attempt to adjust the roster to maximize his skill set. They would have a much easier time attracting other stars with Davis in place. A potential pairing of Davis and free-agent-to-be Kevin Durant would instantly vault the Knicks into contender status and rejuvenate a dedicated fan base.Beyond the on-court impact for a team in the East basement, there would be a new electricity in Madison Square Garden, and a long-suffering fan base would feel rejuevnated. New York hasn’t made a trip to the postseason since Raymond Felton was the starting point guard. (Yep, that’s a long time ago.)And for Davis personally, he would enter a major market and become one of the biggest sports attractions in NYC. He wouldn’t take a back seat to LeBron, who is already embedded within the entertainment world in LA. It’s difficult to say how much this matters to Davis, but for a guy widely considered a top-five player, he has seemingly flown under the radar compared to marquee names like James, Stephen Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. (It could easily be argued Davis’ personality has a lot to do with the marketing piece.)As for the cost, it’s a question of whether the Knicks are willing to move their first-round pick or recovering forward Kristaps Porzingis. There is risk involved, of course, but the reformed lottery odds shrink New York’s odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick. Porzingis is coming off a significant ACL injury, and he may never be as good as Davis is right now. The same goes for a prospect like Kevin Knox.Franchise-changing talents rarely become available. It’s not hard to understand why the Knicks would jump off their current path for Davis.Why the Knicks can’t force an Anthony Davis trade”Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” Paul recently told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.Yeah, that doesn’t sound a lot like the Knicks. A worst-to-first turnaround in the East would be, to put it lightly, a huge challenge for New York. The front office would be trading for less than two full seasons of Davis with no guarantees beyond 2019-20. He is simply not enough on his own to push the Knicks ahead of the Celtics, Bucks and Raptors.If the Knicks are banking on free agency with Durant or even the off chance they can snag Kyrie Irving, good luck with that. Davis is a terrific piece to entice other stars around the NBA, but the overall situation is still not that attractive. If New York adds Davis and strikes out elsewhere, then Davis becomes an expensive rental that drags an average team to a second-round series… maybe.In terms of assets, the Knicks’ pick isn’t nearly as valuable as it would have been in previous years with the new draft lottery structure in place, but with the second-worst record in the league, they could end up at No. 1. Envision Zion Williamson dunking under the bright lights at the Garden — that makes it easier to sell season-ticket packages. Once it became clear that Anthony Davis wanted out of New Orleans, all eyes turned toward the Lakers.Los Angeles is the most obvious destination because of the connection between Davis and LeBron James (they share an agent in Rich Paul of Klutch Sports) and the Lakers’ determination to acquire Davis knowing he would likely sign an extension. A Davis-James combination would make LA a true title threat and bring back the “Showtime” element that’s been missing.
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