Anthony Davis

Getty Anthony Davis being guarded by Isaiah Hartenstein during a February 3 game against the New York Knicks.

Following a second-round exit in the 2023-2024 Eastern Conference playoffs, the New York Knicks are back to the drawing board. And they haven’t ruled out a potential star acquisition.

According to Fox Sports’ Craig Carton, Anthony Davis is the apple of the front office’s eyes. On an episode of “The Carton Show” on FS1, he says if New York could add anyone, it would be the Los Angeles Lakers‘ star.

“The New York Knicks, if they could make it happen, and figure it out, would like to add Anthony Davis to the roster,” Carton said on June 24. “That’s the guy they want more than any other player in the league.”

Davis is coming off of arguably his best season with the Lakers. In 76 regular season appearances (his most ever with the team) he averaged 24.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game.

Under contract through the 2027-2028 season, it’s unlikely Davis is on the trade block. But with LeBron James‘ future up in the air, nothing’s impossible.

LeBron Has a Player Option for Next Season

According to Dan Woike of the LA Times, James is going to decline his $51 million player option for the 2024-2025 season.

“James is expected to opt out of his current contract,” Woike wrote on June 20. “Although the sense is he’ll re-sign with the Lakers, he will be an unrestricted free agent if he declines his player option.”

In opting out, James will become an unrestricted free agent. He’ll be eligible for a three-year, $162 million deal with the Lakers.

But as an unrestricted free agent, he can hear out other teams. And after a season where Los Angeles was eliminated in the first-round, it wouldn’t surprise to see James consider his options.

On the off chance he elects to leave the Lakers, Davis’ future immediately comes into question. And it might be in question already.

Kendrick Perkins warned Los Angeles fans about a potential trade request from Davis. That is, provided the hiring of JJ Redick as head coach doesn’t pan out.

“I wanna see how it goes with Anthony Davis, because I’mma give it ’til the All-Star break,” Perkins said on June 22. “If JJ Redick is not thriving and Anthony Davis is not playing at an elite level and he’s not happy, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wants out of LA. I’m gonna give it ’til All-Star break.”

Enter the Knicks.

What Could New York Offer for Davis?

In the circumstance that Davis asks out, New York could immediately offer a competitive package for the nine-time All-Star.

Knicks receive: Davis

Lakers receive: Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, future first-round picks

The salaries of Randle and Robinson are a near-perfect match. And the Knicks have a bevy of first-round picks to offer.

That starts with the 24th and 25th selection in the 2024 NBA Draft. Then they have seven first-round picks over the next four drafts to work with. Any combination of those picks, an All-Star forward, and a starting center, should get New York close.

Los Angeles could always ask for a young player under team control for years to come like Miles McBride. Or perhaps they’d rather an expiring salary like Bojan Bogdanovic than Robinson’s remaining two seasons to pay.

Regardless, a deal between the two teams would increase the Knicks’ title odds, and keep the Lakers competitive while having enough assets at the ready for if/when they lean into a rebuild. James won’t be playing for that much longer.

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