Anthony Davis Confirms Knicks Made 'Final Cut' on Trade List Before Lakers Deal

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 20, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Anthony Davis may have unintentionally rubbed salt in the wounds of New York Knicks fans who spent the summer dreaming of a scenario in which their team could acquire the six-time All-Star.   

On WFAN's Boomer and Gio show, Davis said the Knicks made his "final cut" of teams that he wanted to be traded to during the offseason:

"I talked to some guys over there who were still there, and I feel like playing for an organization like that, especially New York, it'd be something that I was always interested in. You see 'Melo was there and the history that the Knicks have and a historical franchise it is, I thought it was something I could definitely be a part of."

Davis' agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN's Dave McMenamin in October his client decided he wanted to play in New York or Los Angeles. 

The Knicks ultimately missed out on Davis, though it's not clear if they ever seriously considered putting themselves into trade discussions with the New Orleans Pelicans

Per ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry told people going after Davis "would have undercut their long-range plan of building through the draft and developing picks into stars."

One team that had no such qualms about paying New Orleans' price for Davis was the Los Angeles Lakers. They sent Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, the draft rights to De'Andre Hunter, two first-round picks, a first-round pick swap and cash to the Pelicans to acquire the 26-year-old superstar. 

The deal has paid off handsomely for the Lakers, who enter Thursday tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the best record in the NBA (24-4). 

If New York fans want to hold out hope for Davis, he can become a free agent this summer by opting out of his contract. He's been noncommittal about his future plans, but the Lakers would seem like the favorites to keep him based on their early success together. 

The Knicks are tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference (7-21) and fired head coach David Fizdale on Dec. 6. The franchise hasn't had a player named to the All-Star Game since Kristaps Porzingis in 2017-18. Their last winning season was in 2012-13 (54-28).