Anthony Davis has informed the New Orleans Pelicans that the Knicks are one of four teams he would be willing to sign with for the long term if he is traded, according to a person with knowledge of his intentions who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Davis, one of the league’s top players, is in his seventh season in New Orleans but has asked to be traded. He has been at the center of a number of recent trade rumors, most of which have him teaming up with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers, along with the Knicks, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks, are Davis’s preferred trade destinations. He is seeking a new team with a star or a path to acquiring multiple stars, according to the person with knowledge of his plans.
The list of teams Davis has identified as destinations was first reported by The Athletic and ESPN.
The news of his narrowed list, ahead of the N.B.A. trade deadline on Thursday, provides a glimmer of hope in what has been a difficult season for Knicks fans, especially over the past week. The Knicks traded their star forward, Kristaps Porzingis, to the Dallas Mavericks last week in a move that appears largely aimed at clearing cap space to enable the team to bid for high-profile free agents this summer.
Yet with the worst record in the league, at 10-42, and a roster of inexperienced players, the Knicks cannot be certain they will pique the interest of any of the notable players expected to be free agents this summer, such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard.
But with Davis on board, the Knicks would become a much more attractive landing spot for other top free agents. Though he has missed New Orleans’ last seven games with a finger injury, Davis is in the middle of another outstanding season. In 41 games, he is averaging career highs in points (29.3), rebounds (13.3) and assists (4.4).