It feels like we're dangerously close to an Anthony Davis trade. I can feel the Woj Bomb in my bones. My body is ready. While a trade seems imminent, we still don't know where AD is going. His agent, Rich Paul, explained to SI that the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers were the best fits for Davis. Sorry, Boston.
It's also worth mentioning that Vegas currently has the Lakers has huge favorites to get AD. They're usually spot on with these things, but is that the deal the Pelicans should make? Earlier this week I wrote that it's time for the Lakers to go all-in for AD, but that doesn't mean the Knicks can't make a worthy offer. They have assets and the potential to put all-star talent around AD.
So who can really make the best offer for Anthony Davis - the Knicks or the Lakers? Let's take a look. (Note that these trades feature the best players and assets and that additional players would have to be added to make the money work in a deal).
Lakers Best Offer
Fourth Pick in 2019 NBA Draft
This is it. This is the Lakers putting everyting on the table for AD. It's unclear if the Pelicans would keep all of the Lakers young core, but in this situation, they would at the very least be able to get a third team involved to take on Lonzo or Kuzma. It's unclear if the Lakers have pushed all their chips in with this offer, but if they did, it would be hard to beat. For the Lakers, this trade offer is all about timing. If they're including the 4th pick, the deal would have to be done before the draft. The clock is ticking.
Knicks Best Offer
Third Pick in 2019 NBA Draft
Dallas Mavericks 2021 First Round Pick
Dallas Mavericks 2023 First Round Pick
The Knicks best offer is based way more around future assets than the best potential Lakers offer. If, and this might be an if, the Knicks are willing to include both first round picks they got in the Porzingis trade, then the Pelicans would have to listen. While Brandon Ingram is a better player than Knox and Robinson, the potential draft capital in this deal is pretty crazy. Not only would they get the third pick in this year's draft, but also two future first round picks. That's a tough offer to pass up.
Of course, it's unclear if the Knicks would go this far with an offer. Not only could they possibly be hesitant about including all of their future picks, but they've long been very high on Mithcell Robinson and could keep him out of an offer.
It's also unclear what the Kevin Durant injury means for a potential Knicks and AD trade. I highly doubt the Knicks would hesitate signing Durant, but the potential of him missing an entire season might make it less likely that they want to give up so many assets in a trade for AD.
Who Has the Best Offer?
While both the Knicks and Lakers can offer the Pelicans a bright future in a potential Anthony Davis trade, the most realistic route is probably the Lakers deal. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma would provide immediate pieces to go along with Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball could be flipped for more assets. Add in another lottery player with the fourth pick this year and the Pelicans are cooking. That's not to say the best potential Knicks offer isn't intriguing, but it seems way less likely that New York puts all of their assets on the table for AD.
Prediction: We're about to see Anthony Davis and LeBron in purple and gold next season.