It may be Super Bowl week, but yet again, the greatest soap opera in sports—the NBA and its superstars' desires—has grabbed the headlines.
New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis' request to be traded, and the growing possibility that LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Kristaps Porzingis all may play a role in Davis' ultimate destination, will have fans, execs, players—everyone—on edge with every alert their phones signal until the trade deadline passes a mere nine days from now.
It doesn't hurt that league sources have two of the most storied franchises in the two biggest markets among the potential landing places: the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. While the Pelicans have vowed not to be bull-rushed into moving Davis, who can't become a free agent until 2020, dealing him before the Feb. 7 deadline could make sense.
Yes, the Lakers and their quest to pair another star with James has garnered most of the attention, especially considering that Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, are reportedly expected to make it known L.A. is their preferred destination (per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski), but let's start with the Knicks. Perhaps considered an underdog in this race for Davis, New York suddenly finds itself a potential power broker for the first time in a looonnnggg time. Few fanbases are more delusional than those of the Lakers or Knicks when it comes to believing every star on the planet wants to play for their teams, but at least the Lakers have several recent examples of big-time players electing to play in purple and gold, most notably James.
The Knicks, on the other hand, haven't been a preferred destination for years—but there are indications of that potentially changing. League sources believe they have "a strong chance" of luring Durant should he leave the Golden State Warriors this summer and that Davis is "open" to New York as a landing place as well. Throw in a pick in this year's NBA draft that could potentially add Duke's Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett or Murray State's Ja Morant, and there's finally a reason for optimism in Manhattan.