Knicks trades, Knicks trades, Knicks trades!!!
In a recent article, my colleagues over at Sir Charles in Charge, a sister site of Daily Knicks, explored several different trades that need to happen at the March 25th deadline.
Of course, the one that caught my eye was the deal in which the New York Knicks are trading Obi Toppin, Frank Ntilikina, and an undisclosed future first-round pick in exchange for the services of former Coach Thibodeau product, Zach LaVine.
I’m definitely a huge proponent of that trade, but I don’t think that it’s enough to get it done if I’m being honest.
While yes, trading Obi seems like the thing to do as the Knicks didn’t expect Julius Randle to come into this season as the second-coming so, therefore, drafted his replacement to-be.
Zach LaVine has been lighting it up in Chicago but the team hasn’t improved in quite a while. Should the Knicks look to kick the tires on a potential Zach LaVine deal? Is Zach LaVine the missing piece on a roster with playoff aspirations?
I think that the combination of LaVine playing the best basketball of his life paired with the fact that he’s on a Julius Randle-esque, “budget” contract, where he’s owed right around $19 million next season, the Bulls would probably ask more of the Knicks in the swap.
Zach LaVine is currently averaging a whopping 29 points per game, a steal, 5.1 assists, and 5.4 rebounds on the season. He’s shooting close to 44% from deep on over 8 attempts per contest and an overall true shooting percentage of 65%.
My co-editor and Daily Knicks expert here, Adam Kester, recently discussed a couple of trade packages for LaVine and even those don’t make a ton of sense at this point anymore as the trades included either Julius Randle or Immanuel Quickley, two players New York would be fools to give up in a swap. The trades made a little more sense as of a month ago, but not today.
Here’s an example of a trade I believe would work for both sides:
Zach LaVine makes the most sense of all the stars and superstars that allegedly are trade targets of New York’s come March 25th.
LaVine wouldn’t break the bank as much as a trade for Bradley Beal would. A trade for Victor Oladipo would cost the Knicks less but comes with far more question marks, most specifically regarding his health and whether he would stay past this season.
LaVine played one season under Coach Thibs and even though he was shipped off in a deal for Jimmy Butler shortly after, LaVine thrived under his guidance. Coach Thibs helped LaVine up his scoring numbers from 14 points to 19 points and had him taking double the amount of 3-pointers he had the year previous.
The Knicks lack a closer and someone who can “take the top off” of a defense. The Knicks need the scoring Zach LaVine brings, and the fact that both he and Julius Randle are both under team control next year for under $20 million a pop, it will also allow New York flexibility come free agency time next season.