The Knicks will not acquire the All-NBA forward Anthony Davis as the Lakers won the Pelicans over in a monumental trade.
Anthony Davis has found a new home.
Unfortunately, for the Knicks, that home isn’t in New York.
The New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers have completed a landscape-altering behemoth of a trade on Saturday afternoon, which will net Los Angeles Anthony Davis, first broke by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
In return to New Orleans, the Lakers are sending Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks, including the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft—the pick immediate after the Knicks.
Davis averaged 29.9 points, 12 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game last season in 56 contests, averaging 33 minutes per game. For his career, he averages 23.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.4 blocks a game shooting 51.7% from the field, 31.4% from three, and 79.5% from the free throw line (Basketball-Reference). In advanced metrics, Davis shot a 54 eFG% and 59.7 TS%, per NBA Stats, with a 28.7 USG%. He posted a 30.3 PER last season and is a 72 cumulative WS player in his seven-season NBA tenure.
New York has long sought out the premier NBA talent in Davis, who had listed the Manhattan franchise as a favorable destination since January, when the then-Pelican clashed with his organization. It was reported that Davis asked the Western Conference team to trade him to the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Celtics, or Nets. Without a suitable deal for the Pels, Davis remained on the team’s roster after the league’s February trade deadline. “The Brow” sparsely played the rest of the season, however, missing a dozen-odd games as rumors circulated about Davis’ loyalty to the franchise that drafted him first overall in 2012.
For the Knicks, missing out on Davis is just another stumbling block going into the 2019 NBA free-agency period. Kevin Durant was—and for some within the organization, is—the top name on their list of free agent targets; however, his Achilles tendon rupture could complicate negotiations.
New York turned its attention to landing Davis by dangling the third overall pick, its young players, and multiple future first-round picks in order to secure at least one star going into the 2019–20 season, thus attracting another one in free agency, but the aggressive Lakers beat the Knicks to the punch.
UPDATE: 7:02 p.m. ET.
More news is trickling in about the Davis mega-deal, both on the trade talks side and effect on free agency.
First, the New York Times’ Marc Stein tweeted that the Boston Celtics, who Davis agent Rich Paul said would not be an option for his client to re-sign next offseason, had rising junior Jayson Tatum off the negotiating table. When that occurred, the Lakers were sitting in pole position to acquire The Brow.
Stein also reported that the Lakers will turn their attention to unrestricted free agent Kemba Walker, a Bronx native who the Knicks were eyeing in the open market, too.
Los Angeles will be in desperate need for strong guard play after losing the wavering Ball and missing competent guards all of last season.
Next, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes is reporting Anthony Davis will first test out the Pacific waters, instead choosing to enter free agency next offseason as opposed to signing an immediate extension with the Angeleno team.
And lastly, for now, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne is providing more clarity to the future first-round picks Los Angeles is sending—which could include detailed protections and pick swaps, bending the Lakers’ to Griffin’s will in the next seven years.
Gonna be interesting to see the details on the Picks LA just gave NOLA. From what I understand the Pelicans didn’t want Lakers FRP next year. But through pick swaps they essentially have control of the Lakers draft for the next 7 years.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 15, 2019
UPDATE: 7:28 p.m. ET.
Wojnarowski adds in his story on the breaking news that Davis does indeed intend to re-sign with the Lakers in 2020.
UPDATE: 10:28 p.m. ET.
The New York Post‘s Marc Berman reports the Knicks’ offer to the Pelicans:
“The Knicks were willing to include the No. 3 pick and at least one of Dallas’ two first-round picks in a Davis deal. New Orleans had a choice among a group of young players in Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina.” [NY Post]
UPDATE: p.m. ET.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps reveals the future picks the Pelicans receive in the deal along with the protections:
The Pelicans will get the following picks from the Lakers, league sources tell ESPN:
No. 4 pick in 2019
Top-8 protected in 2021, becomes unprotected in ‘22
Unprotected swap in ‘23
Unprotected first in ‘24
Unprotected swap in ‘25
Tremendous haul for David Griffin & the Pelicans.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 16, 2019
This story is breaking and will be updated with more information.