Knicks President Declines Comment on Offering No. 3 Pick in Anthony Davis Trade

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2019

New York Knicks' president Steve Mills speaks to reporters at a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y., Thursday, April 12, 2018. The Knicks fired coach Jeff Hornacek early Thursday, making the decision shortly after beating Cleveland on Wednesday night to finish a 29-53 season. They lost more than 50 games and missed the playoffs both seasons under Hornacek. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

New York Knicks president Steve Mills sidestepped a question Friday at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine about whether the team would use the No. 3 overall pick in trade talks.

Marc Berman of the New York Post provided Mills' response amid speculation the Knicks could attempt to trade for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis in the offseason.

"We're here to evaluate the players that are here, and we'll keep moving along in our process," he said.

Davis was fined $50,000 by the NBA in January for making a public trade demand, and he didn't appear to back down from his stance after the Pelicans' season ended in April.

"It's hard to say that when they're looking for a GM," he told reporters about whether he expected a summer trade. "Not sure what the new GM is thinking or what they plan to do, but as soon as the Pelicans appoint a GM, then those questions will definitely be asked."

New Orleans hired David Griffin as its executive vice president of basketball operations April 17. He said during an appearance on The Jump he had "very good optimism" about keeping Davis:

Berman reported Griffin is confident a Pelicans Big Three of Davis, Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson—the expected No. 1 pick by New Orleans in the 2019 draft—can compete with any team in the NBA and that Griffin "has not begun collecting new offers" while attempting to change the six-time All-Star's mind.

The Knicks landed the No. 3 spot in Tuesday's lottery after matching the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns for the best chance (14 percent) to secure the No. 1 pick.

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It's still a favorable spot for New York since Williamson's Duke teammate RJ Barrett and Murray State point guard Ja Morant are viewed as strong tier-two prospects behind Zion. Then there's a drop-off to the rest of the class.

The Knicks—who are viewed as the heavy favorites to land superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency (each has a player option)—can use the pick as trade bait to acquire Davis or to land a rock-solid prospect as part of what's shaping up to become a franchise-altering offseason.

Mills isn't ready to tip his hand about the No. 3 pick, however, because even the best-laid plans don't always come to fruition during famously hectic NBA summers.

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