The upcoming offseason is already being referred to as the most important in New York Knicks history, potentially carrying enough star power to turn the franchise around almost overnight.
They'll be competing against the recruitment efforts of many other teams in the NBA, though they're part of a select few targeting one specific prize: Anthony Davis. He won't re-sign with the majority of the league, and the New Orleans Pelicans are looking for a big return. The Knicks would have to outbid several teams in order to land The Brow.
But first, what do the Knicks have to offer?
Their top prospects are Mitchell Robinson and Dennis Smith Jr., with fellow young pieces Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson also available to dangle in a deal. There's the No. 3 overall pick, the ability to take on a longer contract like Solomon Hill's and whatever future picks New York is inclined to deal, including the two first-rounders they netted from the Dallas Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis deal.
There's a solid offer to be made here, but what about compared to other teams?
The Lakers have already offered up their entire young core and nearly their whole team in pursuit of Davis to no avail, with a similar offer likely to follow this offseason. This would include Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Mo Wagner, or some combination of a few of these names. One key addition to this surplus is the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft, granted the drop-off in talent from pick 3 to 4 is substantial. The Knicks have an RJ Barrett-sized edge there, though Los Angeles has a bit more on the current core side.
The Celtics may not have a top pick to offer in this year's draft, though they do have the No. 14 selection and the best lot of current pieces to offer out of everybody in the running. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both immensely promising young players capable of being future All-Stars. However, up until now the Celtics have balked at the idea of trading both for Davis. They don't have much else in the way of prospects to deal with, outside of Robert Williams and Guerschon Yabusele, whatever they're worth to New Orleans. Having collected an extra first from the Clippers and Grizzlies is sure to be helpful as they could be willing to send away more picks with their own remaining intact.
Not a team Davis listed as a preferred destination, the Nets may still attempt to trade for Davis then try to convince him to stay. They have a dearth of prospects to offer: Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, Rodions Kurucs and now Taurean Prince. The draft pick department is lacking, especially after their move to clear cap space this past week, but they could also theoretically sign-and-trade D'Angelo Russell in a Davis deal.
An inevitable Davis trade likely hinges on what teams are willing to offer and what the Pelicans are concerned about getting in a return. If the Celtics lose Kyrie Irving and decide a Brow trade isn't the best direction, and the Nets rather not trade any future picks, suddenly just two teams would compete and the trade package could look smaller for New Orleans.
If all four teams go strong, whoever is willing to part with the most will take home the prize. On the flip side, the Pelicans can decide their own destiny. If they want to build a winner around Zion Williamson from Day 1, Boston's Tatum/Brown duo wins out. If they want to pair Williamson with a familiar face and rebuild from ground zero with raw talent, a Knicks offer of the No. 3 pick, the two Mavericks first-round picks, Robinson and Knox likely does the trick.
What's sure to be one of the most promising offseasons in Knicks history won't come without competition, and New York will have plenty. Whether or not the Knicks can out-appeal the rest of the league to both free agents and trade partners will decide just how successful the front office will be in turning the ship around.
They have the pieces. Soon enough, it will be time for execution.