Would the Knicks consider trading Zion Williamson if they land the top pick?

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The NBA draft lottery is nearly upon us, and all eyes are on Duke phenom Zion Williamson. Whichever team gets the No. 1 pick will almost certainly pick him, and it could change the entire direction of a franchise. You would assume that Zion would change a franchise by just playing for them, but apparently that’s not the only option on the table.

The New York Knicks, who are one of three teams with a 14 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick, might not keep Williamson if they get that top pick. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Tuesday that if the Knicks get the No. 1 pick and draft Zion Williamson, they might then consider packaging Williamson and prized rookie Kevin Knox in a trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

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It seems a little ludicrous on its face, right? Trading Zion Williamson? With all that incredible potential? It seems like a fool move. But it’s not all that farfetched. As Charania says, there’s really no other team that could put together such a strong package for Davis, which would certainly entice the Pelicans. (Also, it’s Zion Williamson. If a team is offering to trade him to you, you say yes.) And it would allow the Knicks to get an established star on their roster.

Davis would only be the beginning. Just by being on the Knicks, he makes them an infinitely more appealing team. Most All-Star players aren’t rushing out to sign with a team that won just 17 games last season. But if that team suddenly has Anthony Davis? That could open the door to free agent signings like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and a much-needed overhaul of the roster.

It’s definitely a win-now move. And one that places a lot of hope on Davis’ appeal to other stars. But it would radically change the course of the franchise, which has lately been on the long, long road to Nowheresville by way of Futilityburg.

There’s a 14 percent chance we’ll get to see how this ends up. If the Knicks get that top pick on Tuesday night, we’ll get to see how this plays out. It would be the most interesting thing to happen to the Knicks in ages — that didn’t directly involve James Dolan, that is.

If Zion Williamson is drafted by the Knicks, he could possibly be traded before he ever plays a game in a New York uniform. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
If Zion Williamson is drafted by the Knicks, he could possibly be traded before he ever plays a game in a New York uniform. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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