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NBA Trade Talk: Should Knicks Call Lakers About Anthony Davis?

Both the Knicks and the Lakers could use a shakeup this offseason after underwhelming 2021-2022 campaigns.

Offseason buzz is already starting to crank up for the New York Knicks, who will be looking to make some changes after a disappointing 37-45 season that resulted in missing the NBA Play-In Tournament.

Just a year ago, the Knicks were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and Tom Thibodeau won Coach of the Year. Then, Trae Young shredded the Knicks in the first round with Julius Randle not being able to buy a bucket, they lost the heart and soul of their roster in Reggie Bullock to the Dallas Mavericks — a team going to a Game 7 in the second round against the league-best Phoenix Suns on Sunday — in free agency, and things just haven’t been right since.

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The Knicks need some kind of roster shakeup this summer to freshen things up a bit. Perhaps they can pull off a trade with another team that’s in a similar position as them: the Los Angeles Lakers.

NBA Analysis Network presented this trade between the Knicks and Lakers involving the talented-but-often-injured big man Anthony Davis:

Lakers receive: RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Nerlens Noel and “some draft capital” 

Knicks receive: Anthony Davis

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Given Davis’ inability to stay on the court, paired with the fact that he has three more years left on his current contract (including player option) worth $120 million, the Knicks might want to avoid sending off a key young piece in Barrett, who just averaged 20 points, six rebounds and three assists per game in just his third year in the league.

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“I know for a fact by numerous executives I’ve spoken to, you can’t get but so much value for Anthony Davis because he’s perpetually injured and he’s not reliable healthwise,” said Stephen A. Smith on a recent ESPN appearance.

With that in mind, we think this potential trade package would be slightly more fair for both sides considering the risk level on New York’s end:

Lakers receive: Julius Randle, Evan Fournier, 2022 first-round pick

Knicks receive: Anthony Davis

With this trade, the Knicks essentially replace Randle, who might need a change of scenery, with Davis, while also getting off of Fournier’s contract. The Lakers would get two new functional rotation pieces to pair with LeBron James, as well as a draft asset. Splitting Davis’ bad contract into two separate not-as-bad contracts could open up other trade possibilities down the road.