If the New York Knicks won the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, would they pass on Zion Williamson in pursuit of an Anthony Davis trade?
For months, the foregone conclusion has been that whatever team wins the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery will be taking Zion Williamson with the first overall pick. If it’s the New York Knicks that ultimately come out with the No. 1 pick, though, that might not be the case.
The Knicks, who are tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns for having the best odds to land the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft (14 percent), are looking to make a big splash this offseason with a rich free agency class hitting the market. And if they get the No. 1 pick, they reportedly could look to make themselves a more attractive destination immediately.
Per Shams Charania of Stadium, the Knicks would “shift their focus” to an Anthony Davis trade should they win the NBA Draft Lottery and get the first overall pick:
As stated by Charania, there’s no questioning that Williamson has star potential and could be the building block for a franchise. The Knicks, however, are not interested in anything but the immediate future, which the Duke superstar may not affect in the way that they would like.
Davis, on the other hand, would. The current New Orleans Pelicans star has not quietly been pushing his way out of his current situation. But wherever he goes, he gives them an immediate star that makes the team competitive. In the interest of the Knicks, that means making them a far more attractive free agency destination than they would be with Williamson and their current core.
It’s no secret that New York has eyes for the top-tier free agents hitting the market this offseason, from Kevin Durant to Kyrie Irving to Kawhi Leonard to Klay Thompson to Kemba Walker. Landing Davis would likely make those players more seriously consider signing in the Big Apple than a high-profile rookie like Williamson.
Of course, this is all moot if the Knicks don’t actually win the NBA Draft Lottery. If they do, though, prepare yourselves for absolute calamity.