Once Anthony Davis’ agent Rich Paul announced his client’s intentions of wanting to be traded from the New Orleans Pelicans this week, the Knicks and Lakers have been known as the candidates to get him.
Don’t laugh about the Knicks’ chances. They have the assets to get Davis, and the Pelicans really don’t want to cater to their disgruntled player and his client by sending him to the Lakers. Plus, they don’t want to see their star four times a year if he plays for the Lakers.
The Knicks should do whatever it takes to get the Pelicans star, even if it means trading their first-round draft pick. The Pelicans can name their price, and the Knicks should go along with it, even if that means giving up Kevin Knox. The Knicks need to make the move more than ever after they are rumored to be trading Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.
I know, I know the Knicks have to build through drafting, scouting and development. It’s all about the process now. But here’s the problem with that: What makes anyone think the Knicks will get it right under this inept triumvirate of James Dolan, Steve Mills and David Fizdale? There’s a reason Porzingis apparently went off about the state of the Knicks to management according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He must know something stinks since he is around the team.
Watching Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina and Noah Vonleh play, they haven’t developed as productive players this season. It seems they are getting worse than they are getting better. This is an indictment of Fizdale that these guys can’t play defense. It’s his job to have them play defense through teaching and working. This hasn’t happened, and it’s hard to believe this will work. What has management shown to get the benefit of the doubt?
Rebuilding under Dolan does not seem to work. There’s no proper basketball culture that goes on with the Knicks. There’s no accountability. There’s no leadership. No coach seems to know what he is doing. There’s no point going through this.
The Knicks are better off with a short-term fix, too those guys are proven players and management and coaching staff don’t have to work hard. They can look like geniuses for getting them. They don’t have to apologize for it either, because they are in a market where they can get stars to play for them.
By acquiring Davis, the Knicks’ chances of getting Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are better. Not only they can get two of three players, but maybe all three. They would be intrigued playing with a star. That’s why trading for Davis makes sense. It’s the only way they can get a marquee free agent.
By getting another marquee free agent to play with Davis, this would make this Pelican sign a long-term extension with the Knicks. Yes, Davis has said he would wait until he is a free agent to sign a long-term extension with any NBA team outside of the Pelicans, but with the Knicks, that does not have to be the case. He will sign with them if stars come out to play with him. That’s the advantage the Knicks have over the other teams.
The Knicks have to do something. There’s apathy with this franchise locally. Despite the Garden selling out because of the tourists, the place is often dead. It was telling when I was in New York on the day of the Knicks season opener, and no one was aware the Knicks were even playing that day.
They have become irrelevant each passing year in this town, and with the Nets doing well, it would be a matter of time until the kids start adopting them. The Knicks have a big fanbase here, but they are not going to have it forever if they continue to lose. As stupid as Dolan is, he has to know the bottom line, and that’s why he should be motivated to do whatever it takes to get Davis.
For all the criticism the Knicks received for doing a quick fix with Carmelo Anthony, they did make the playoffs couple of times, and they made it to the second round once. They could have gone to the Finals if Anthony did his job. His supporting cast including Amar’e Stoudemire, Jason Kidd, Wilson Chandler and even J.R. Smith did a fine job. It was Anthony who was the problem.
They can make this work with Davis and veterans.The Pelicans star is more of a winner than Anthony is. Plus, the Knicks would get these players in their primes rather than past their primes as they did when they acquired or signed them when Anthony was here.
The Knicks are in the business of winning now. It’s going to be six years of no playoffs. They haven’t made the NBA Finals since the shortened 1998-1999 season. It’s going to be 46 years and counting since they won a championship.
The Knicks are the NBA’s version of the Detroit Lions.
They should have plenty of motivation to make this trade, especially with Porzingis on his way out.