As hard as it may be for some to believe, Anthony Davis plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, if the ping pong balls didn’t bounce in their favor on NBA Draft Lottery night, he could have ended up on the opposite side of the country in New York.
In a recent interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, said that before the lottery, Davis was set on playing in New York or the Lakers:
“[Davis] wanted to go to two places: New York or L.A,” Paul reflects. “After the Draft [Lottery], I was able to see where everything lies. The fact that [the Pelicans] were going to get the first pick caused me to understand, it softened the blow of losing Anthony Davis because the organization could still have some momentum.
”Now, where he would go was up to who was going to step up and give the best offer.”
Fortunately, the Lakers literally defied the odds and jumped from the No. 11 slot to the No. 4 slot on Draft Lottery night. Meanwhile, the Knicks fell from No. 1 to No. 3. While the draft was believed to only be three players deep, the No. 4 pick gave the Lakers a better package than the No. 11 pick would have.
The Knicks still technically had the best asset to give the Pelicans in the No. 3 pick, but the Lakers had better overall assets that would have only been superseded by New York landing the No. 1 overall pick, or Zion Williamson. Without the No. 1 pick, New York’s second-best asset was Mitchell Robinson.
Add that to the fact that there were already rumblings that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were going to team up with the Brooklyn Nets — not the Knicks — and it’s safe to assume Los Angeles became Davis’ No. 1 option pretty quickly.
Perhaps there is an alternate reality where Davis, Irving and Durant formed the NBA’s next big three on the Knicks, but in this one, Davis plays in Los Angeles with LeBron James, an outcome Lakers fans are surely a whole lot happier with.