The New York Knicks have been one of the most-talked-about teams in the days leading up to the 2019 NBA trade deadline. They appear unlikely to make another deal after sending Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks last week, but there is plenty of speculation regarding what the team might do this offseason in free agency.

The rumors that Kevin Durant plans to head to New York this summer have only picked up since the Knicks cleared enough cap space to sign two max players in July. Durant aggressively denied any link to the Knicks after the Golden State Warriors’ win Wednesday night, though you can be sure that the buzz surrounding his impending free agency won’t go away.

Much of the discussion has been regarding which All-Star might team up with Durant in New York for the 2019-2020 season and beyond. Maybe it will be Kyrie Irving, who has refused to commit to the Boston Celtics for the long term. Anthony Davis won’t be a free agent until 2020, but the Knicks are a realistic landing spot for the superstar as the New Orleans Pelicans explore trade possibilities.

New Orleans is expected to trade Davis this summer when they can consider offers from the Celtics, in addition to the Los Angeles Lakers and other teams. New York has a 14 percent chance of winning the draft lottery in May, and they might become the favorites to acquire Davis if they get the No.1 overall pick. Perhaps the Knicks could even pique the Pelicans’ interest if they get the No.2 pick.

Davis doesn’t control where he’ll be traded, though he can influence a deal by declaring where he will or won’t sign as a free agent in 2020. Not only has Davis put the Knicks on his list of four teams with which he would sign a long-term contract, but The New York Times’ Marc Stein has reported that New York is on par with the Lakers as his preferred destination.

The NBA’s best big man is reportedly intrigued by the Knicks’ ability to add two max players this offseason. Agreeing to a trade for Davis before free agency officially starts on July 1 could certainly increase New York’s chances of convincing players like Durant and Irving to come to the Big Apple.

The Knicks reportedly tried to send Porzingis in a trade package for Davis, but the Pelicans rejected the offer.

The Knicks won’t acquire any players before the deadline that have contracts that extend beyond this season because they want to maintain their cap flexibility for the summer. That makes it harder for the team to trade some veterans that might’ve played their last games with New York.

Enes Kanter is expected to be bought out by the Knicks if he’s not traded by Thursday afternoon. Wes Matthews is another buyout candidate.

New York doesn’t have much interest in playing veterans that might help them win games and won’t be on the roster next season. The Knicks hope to keep losing and maintain the NBA’s best odds in the draft lottery as they looking to build a contender this summer.

Kevin Durant Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans is guarded by Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on January 16, 2019 in Oakland, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images