Pelicans GM David Griffin still has a goal of changing Anthony Davis’ mind on a trade and have him “buy into the program,’’ according to a source.
Griffin plans to meet with Davis soon. But Tuesday’s lottery could be a determining factor in where Davis ends up, depending how the ping-pong balls roll.
If the Knicks win the lottery and hold the rights to Zion Williamson, their chances of landing Davis, still on their radar, increases. But the Knicks know it’s not going to take Williamson alone — which is the major conundrum for the franchise.
“New Orleans would want a package,’’ an NBA source told The Post.
How much will the Knicks be willing to give up for Davis in addition to Williamson?
According to a source, the Pelicans have interest in both of the Knicks’ 2018 draft picks, Kevin Knox, their lottery pick, and second-rounder Mitchell Robinson, who happens to reside 15 minutes outside of New Orleans, in Chalmette, La.
The Pelicans were one of the teams who came away impressed by Knox’s potential after his summer league, though he suffered through a roller-coaster rookie year.
“Zion is definitely an interesting discussion for New Orleans,’’ an NBA front-office type said. “There’s nothing like AD, but Zion is dynamic in his own way. No one has seen anyone like him physically, and he’s got a great personality and tremendous upside.’’
The Knicks have a convenient situation in being suitors for Davis because he can slide into cap space, meaning they won’t have to give up a lot of salary in return.
The Knicks would still have room for another max free agent such as Kevin Durant even with the addition of Davis.
It’s hard to imagine Durant, who will be 31 next season, not preferring Davis on his side over Duke’s 18-year-old rookie who could be two years from All-Star status.
But a trio of Davis-Durant-Kyrie Irving is a virtual impossibility, as it would be tough to fit all three under the cap without trading away the house.
Bobby Marks, the former Nets assistant GM and current ESPN employee, told The Post he believes an equitable offer for Davis is the rights to Williamson, Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Dallas’ two future first-round picks (2021-23 or 2022-24, pending the lottery).
A trade couldn’t be consummated until July 1. In a certain variation, if Williamson’s salary is needed to count as open cap space for the Knicks, the deal couldn’t become official until Aug. 1 — 30 days after Williamson’s pact is signed.
Is giving up Williamson plus four other young assets too much, especially since Davis can be a free agent in 2020 and Williamson’s marketing appeal is through the roof? It probably depends upon whom they are competing against and whether they receive a verbal commitment that Davis would be here for the long haul.
“To get AD, you do whatever it takes and then build around him,’’ one NBA scout said.
The Lakers’ young packages already fell short. One item in the Knicks’ favor is the Celtics, who figure to be stiff competition if Davis is on the block, had their young assets depreciate after down seasons for Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and restricted free agent Terry Rozier.
In addition, the Celtics have Sacramento’s first-round pick and have small odds of landing in the top 10 after an overachieving season.
Knicks GM Scott Perry told The Post last month he would always take phone calls regarding trading a top pick.
There was debate in January on whether the Knicks should even offer Kristaps Porzingis in a Davis package. There was no debate in the Knicks front office because of the Latvian’s perceived disgruntlement as they offered Porzingis before shipping him to Dallas.
While the Knicks love Williamson’s intangibles and electric talent, they also are hardly sure he will ever rise to the stratosphere of LeBron James — or Davis, who has become an inside and outside monster.
The question, too, is whether the Knicks can make a reasonable package if they have the second or third pick. It is shaping up as a three-man draft in terms of bona fide All-Stars in Williamson, RJ Barrett and point guard Ja Morant.
Perry had a good relationship with Dell Demps, the Pelicans’ GM who was fired after the trade deadline for not handling the Davis trade request well. Now Griffin runs the show. Knicks President Steve Mills interviewed Griffin for the GM job two years ago, but Griffin passed on it because he didn’t want to be second in charge. Perry got the job instead.
Now Perry and Griffin may engage in lots of talk if the Knicks capture the lottery.
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