Knicks Trade Rumors: NY Never Made a Formal Offer to Pelicans for Anthony Davis

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) wears a T-shirt with 'That's All, Folks,' printed on it during player introduction before an NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors in New Orleans, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld)
Scott Threlkeld/Associated Press

Believing they did not have enough assets to pull off a trade, the New York Knicks reportedly never made a formal offer to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported the Knicks had only "preliminary and brief" discussions with the Pelicans, who shipped Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers over the weekend.

The Lakers gave up Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft and two future first-round picks for Davis. They also gave up pick-swapping rights in 2023 and 2025.

The Knicks have Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier and the No. 3 pick in Thursday's draft. They could have approximated what the Lakers were offering, though the Lakers' young players are more proven than the Knicks' group.

New York's willingness to offer every top-flight young player on its roster may have lessened after Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles in the NBA Finals. Durant, who had long been linked to the Knicks this summer, will likely miss the entire 2019-20 season. Even if the Knicks ultimately sign Durant and/or Kyrie Irving, they may choose to continue developing young talent while Durant rehabs.

It also appears unlikely the Lakers were going to allow themselves to be outbid for Davis, who had long preferred a move to Los Angeles. The Lakers have a short window with LeBron James (34 years old), and uncertainty abounds in their pursuit of top-tier free agents. Davis was the surest way to a superstar, and the young core was not long for L.A. from the moment LeBron started rocking the purple and gold.

Still, the Knicks being out of the running only further highlights the notion that the Lakers were bidding against themselves.