Take a deep breath, Knicks fans! Many of you may be upset about not winning the NBA Draft Lottery last night. It is understandable to be pessimistic about a franchise that hasn't won a championship since 1973 But this offseason can still be a special one for the Knickerbockers. It really can.
Before the lottery even happened last night, rumors were swirling around the Knicks potentially trading the No. 1 overall pick to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis. That narrative went out the window last night when New Orleans actually won the lottery themselves and New York ended up with pick No. 3, but this should only make a potential trade for AD even more obvious.
If the Knicks stayed put with their pick, they'd likely select Duke prospect RJ Barrett, as he figures to be the best talent available. Barrett certainly is a high-upside player and a great consolation prize for missing out on Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, but he's not who the Knicks need right now. Anthony Davis, an established NBA superstar who can help turn things around on both ends, should be considered the ultimate trade target. And
The bottom line is that RJ Barrett is a question mark on the wing, and the Knicks arleady have a guy like that in Kevin Knox. Davis' viability is anything but undetermined, and he wants out of New Orleans on top of it all. The opportunity to acquire a player of his caliber through trade is a rare one, and the player himself reportedly won't rule out signing an extension with New York if he ends up there. They have the assets to package along with the No. 3 pick to get a deal done: multple picks from the Kristaps Porzingis deal with Dallas, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, Knox himself... the list goes on.
The Knicks made the Porzingis trade with the intention of freeing up two max contrat slots for this summer, ideally for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. If this is realistic and they are truly in win-now mode, pairing Davis alongside those two would provide as strong a core as there is in the league. Not only that, but trading for AD prior to free agency could basically guarantee that superstars will have to strongly consider New York as an option.
Yes, RJ Barrett is a great young player, but there's only so much you can do with young, unproven wing talent in year one. It's time to get down to business at MSG and not rest until AD is on a plane to the Five Boroughs.