The Lakers won the race for Anthony Davis, but they had to beat out multiple teams during the sprint to the finish. This included the New York Knicks who—like L.A.—were one of AD's preferred landing spots. Ultimately, what pushed the Lakers over the edge was the team's willingness to deplete their assets for the game-changing Big Man.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Knicks held their young players in too high regard when discussing potential trade packages with New Orleans.
"The Knicks discussed several assets in a potential offer—featuring Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith and the No. 3 overall pick and other draft compensation," league sources disclosed to Charania. "But never fully offered young forward Kevin Knox and prized center Mitchell Robinson."
Despite being one of the teams with which Davis wanted to discuss long-term contracts, Charania claims the Knicks were hesitant to pull the trigger on Knox and Robinson due to AD's pending free agency. The team felt dealing away these assets would jeopardize their future flexibility.
By not relinquishing these players, New York's immediate future is looking grim. Last week, Kyrie Irving signed with Roc Nation. Many critics feel this is the final move before he inks a deal with the Brooklyn Nets. It is also rumored that Kevin Durant will follow Irving to the Brooklyn despite losing next year to injury. This shifts the team's focus to Kawhi Leonard. Even before his championship run with Toronto, insiders believed Leonard would be eying a return to his hometown of L.A. New York must now convince one or multiple of this free agency's big three to squander their assumed plans and sign with the Knicks or they will have missed a golden opportunity to revitalize the franchise.