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Knicks tried to sell Anthony Davis on signing with them in 2020 after realizing they couldn’t trade for him

Knicks, Lakers, Anthony Davis

The New York Knicks tried a last resort gambit to give themselves a glimmer of hope in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes before the Los Angeles Lakers traded for him last week. Having realized that they simply did not have the assets to trade for him this summer, the franchise hoped to sell the six-time All-Star into signing with them in 2020, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.

“The New York Knicks? Never had the assets to get a deal done. The Brooklyn Nets? Ditto. (In fact, the Knicks, recognizing the futility of a trade and fearful of getting shut out this summer, made overtures for Davis to join them as a free agent in 2020, according to a league source.)”

The New Orleans Pelicans were asking for an All-Star player, a player with the potential to become an All-Star, a rotation player, and multiple first-round picks in return for Davis — a price that was too steep to pay.

One could argue the Lakers didn’t have enough to match that request, but he was ultimately traded there after no other team made any serious offers that could rival it.

The only leverage the Knicks had was that he’d only consider New York or Los Angeles as destinations, forcing them to burn that one last ace in the hole before he was dealt away.

Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, said that regardless of who traded for Davis, his client would explore the waters in free agency — likely due to the oodles of cash he could make by doing so, in place of a less-lucrative extension.

If the 2019-20 season does not go as he envisioned and Davis indeed chooses to survey the market, this could be a chapter he could possibly revisit if the Knicks still have the room to haul him in.