Bleacher Report’s Knicks-Bulls trade idea isn’t what New York needs

After not trading for Donovan Mitchell during the offseason nor trading for a star player ahead of the deadline, the New York Knicks are still in possession of their chest of first-round picks. For that reason, the Knicks are going to be connected to any star player that could be on the move during the upcoming offseason.

To the dismay of most New York fans, Trae Young is a player that’s been brought up as a star that could request a trade. However, Atlanta firing Nate McMillan and hiring Quin Snyder could keep Young with the Hawks if he were thinking about requesting a trade.

Before the trade deadline, it was rumored that the Knicks were in talks with the Bulls about Zach LaVine. Luckily, that wasn’t true and LaVine stayed put.

In a piece titled ‘Breaking Down Most Realistic Potential Trades of NBA Offseason,’ Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley went in depth about a potential New York-Chicago trade that doesn’t involve LaVine.

Knicks Get
DeMar DeRozan
Alex Caruso
Bulls Get
RJ Barrett
Obi Toppin
Isaiah Hartenstein

This Knicks-Bulls trade sends DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso to New York

Let’s start with what the Knicks would be giving up in this scenario. Ahead of the trade deadline, many fans started to come to terms with the possibility that Obi Toppin could be sent to a new team. New York picked up his fourth-year option earlier this season, but he’s continued to spend more time on the bench than the court after being drafted No. 8 overall in 2020. As Ian Begley wrote, Toppin’s done everything that’s been asked of him and it would be the best thing for him if he were traded.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Toppin were to be traded during the offseason, so it’s hard to argue against Bleacher Report including him in this deal. The same goes for Isaiah Hartenstein, who signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Knicks in free agency. He’s had his ups and downs this season, but for the most part, he played well in Mitchell Robinson’s absence. Still, New York has Jericho Sims, who was drafted No. 58 overall in 2021.

As for RJ Barrett, it’d be hard to see the front office give him up for DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso. Barrett’s had his fair share of struggles this season and chances are that some Knicks fans reading this want to see him traded, but his name being included in this makes it feel a lot less realistic.

Instead of sending Barrett to Utah in a Donovan Mitchell deal, the Knicks gave him a four-year contract extension. Why would New York trade soon-to-be 23-year-old RJ for soon-to-be 34-year-old DeMar? Buckley argued that DeRozan “is sort of the actualized version of what the ‘Bockers hope Barrett might one day become (minus the defense).” That’s not near enough reason to do this trade even though the Knicks wouldn’t have to give up draft capital in this scenario. That seems unlikely in itself.

DeRozan has been one of the lone positives of Chicago’s 2022-23 season thus far, but that isn’t saying much. With all due respect to him, he isn’t the star player that the Knicks should pursue. As for Alex Caruso, he’d be a great addition to New York’s roster and would thrive under Tom Thibodeau, but this trade isn’t one that the Knicks should consider.