Knicks: Bold prediction has Lakers star center forcing his way to New York this summer

Feb 3, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) reacts after a dunk against New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a former NBA champion who wants to see Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis with the New York Knicks next season. ESPN analyst and 2008 Boston Celtics champion Kendrick Perkins boldly stated that Davis should join the Knicks if the Lakers fumble their head coaching search, saying in part (h/t Yahoo Sports’ Robert Marvi):

“We don’t know what’s about to go down in L.A., right? JJ Redick might be the frontrunner for that job. I don’t know. If you’re AD you got to see how that [expletive] look first. I gotta see how it look. JJ you’re here to make me look good? Are you here to benefit me or what? If not, I’m bouncin’ and New York is the place. They got the picks, they got the assets and guess what? AD in Madison Square with Beef and Body [Jalen] Brunson, you know what I’m sayin’? Stop playin’. Stop playin’! You like it!” Perkins said.

Knicks: Lakers firing Darvin Ham created uncertainty with Anthony Davis’ future

Anthony Davis, Knicks
Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers fired Darvin Ham on May 3. Ham was liked in the eyes of Lakers superstar LeBron James and led him and Davis to the Western Conference Finals in 2023. However, he followed that up with a disappointing 2023-24 outing where the Lakers won 47 games and finished as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the No. 2-seeded Denver Nuggets.

Davis is in line to see his third head coach in L.A. since joining the team in 2019. Another moving part to the Lakers’ equation is James’ status this offseason. The 39-year-old could leave Los Angeles to play wherever his son Bronny James gets drafted, or find a more favorable situation to compete for a championship should he forego his $51.4 million player option for next season. This would leave the injury-prone Davis on a Lakers roster with talent, but bereft of MVP-caliber stars at the top.

Davis could find New York an ideal situation in 2024-25

Anthony Davis, Knicks
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks can give Davis many things. If he wants to play the five, that wouldn’t be a problem. If he wanted to stick to his traditional slot at the four, New York could accommodate him. Given his once-in-a-generation talent, he’d be a no-brainer to carry the offensive workload while maintaining his status as a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Davis’ play style matches the Knicks’ half-court-oriented makeup.

With their improved floor spacing, the Kentucky product could find much success scoring on an island inside of 20 feet, or finding open shooters when doubled. The Knicks’ team defense, coaching, and overall culture would gift him with a winning environment where he can vie for a championship as a standalone No. 1 option.

The Lakers’ coaching search will heavily factor into the team’s future. Redick is a high-IQ former pro who hosts a podcast with James. That relationship could entice the former No. 1 overall pick to stay in L.A. Should he find Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s hire incompetent, that could open the floodgates for the Knicks to make a concerted push for Davis. A push that would cost them the most worth it $43.2 million they’ve spent in some time.

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