The Los Angeles Clippers agreed to send Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, two future first round picks and two second rounders on Wednesday.
It is a trade that directly impacts the Knicks in three ways:
1) The Clippers now have space for two max contracts
By trading Harris, a free agent this summer, to Philadelphia, the Clippers were never likely to re-sign him to a max contract.
With Harris definitely out of the picture, the Clippers can now set their eyes on adding two max contracts -- setting them up as direct competitors with the Knicks in the free agent market this summer.
Kawhi Leonard is likely to be a focal point for the Clippers -- they were the team he originally wanted to be traded to, after all -- but finding another star to pair with him, say, Kevin Durant, could potentially cut into the Knicks' plans to go after the Warriors forward.
At the very least, the Clippers appear to be the Knicks' biggest competition at the moment in signing Durant this summer.
2) The Clippers are now major players for Anthony Davis
While links between Davis and the Knicks have cooled since the Kristaps Porzingis trade, New York remains one of four teams Davis is reportedly willing to sign a long-term extension with.
One of the other four, however, is the Clippers and they just acquired assets that could help them land the Pelicans All-Star.
They now have four more draft picks, including an unprotected 2021 first-rounder from Miami, a rising young rookie in Shamet and without Harris, the Clippers have positioned themselves to slide down the Western Conference standings.
This is important, too, because the Celtics have the Clippers' lottery-protected first-rounder this year. If the Clippers fail to make the postseason, they get to keep that pick and slide down the draft board as well.
So they may be the team that can offer the best package for Anthony Davis.
3) It potentially thins the free agent market and bolsters 76ers for future
Following news of the trade, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers are budgeting to re-sign and keep Harris, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid together in the long-term.
By doing this, the 76ers not only become an Eastern Conference juggernaut in the foreseeable future, but also remove two potential free agents for the Knicks to pursue this summer in Harris and Butler.
While the Knicks' focus has been centered on Durant and Kyrie Irving, Harris and Butler were likely fallback options for the Knicks if they were unable to reach a deal with the other two. Should Durant or Irving not sign with the Knicks, it leaves very few options left in the free agent market worthy of a max deal.
4) Eliminates Sixers in potential Anthony Davis trade
The good news for the Knicks is that the Sixers will likely not pursue Davis.
While Philadelphia was not seriously linked to the Pelicans' All-Star center, nor on his list of preferred destinations, there was still speculation that the Sixers could put together a package centered around Ben Simmons to land Davis.
The trade likely eliminates that as an option, especially with the report that the Sixers are aiming to lock down Simmons, Embiid, Butler and Harris long-term.