The New York Knicks-Zach LaVine rumors are back again. It’s going to take until either LaVine is traded to New York or officially retires before he stops being continuously linked to the Knicks on a year-round basis.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, the Bulls have “started to contact teams, quietly gauging the trade interest in Zach LaVine.” However, Chicago may stay away from a New York trade. According to New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy (subscription required), LaVine’s representatives would be against a trade to the Knicks because of the CAA ties within the organization. LaVine is represented by Klutch.
Regardless, LaVine could be on the move. It was thought that the Bulls were going to make a major move or two ahead of the February trade deadline, but Chicago stayed pat. Knicks fans were on the edge of their seats after a Twitter rumor had everyone believing that New York was in talks with Chicago for LaVine, but that ended up being untrue.
The 28-year-old still has four years left on the five-year, $215 million contract that he signed last year. After a disappointing 2022-23 season that resulted in the Bulls narrowly making the play-in tournament before coming up short of making it to the first round of the playoffs, the organization could finally decide to deal LaVine this offseason with the intention of getting something of value in return.
New York Knicks and Zach LaVine continue to be intertwined in trade rumors
With the news that the Bulls are reportedly shopping Zach LaVine, FanSided.com’s Christopher Kline created three trades that Chicago could do, including one with New York.
If you’re a Knicks fan that is adamant against the team trading for LaVine, that makes perfect sense. Should New York want to take on the contract of an inconsistent player? That’s a fair question to ask. However, the above trade wouldn’t require the Knicks to give up too much in exchange for LaVine.
RJ Barrett signed an extension last summer, but like LaVine, he struggles with being inconsistent, although he did give New York a huge boost in the playoffs after a few rough games. He’s also only 23, so an argument against this deal could be that the Knicks should keep their former No. 3 pick over LaVine, who is five years older than Barrett.
Then there’s Mitchell Robinson, who has dealt with his fair share of injuries. The starting center excelled in the Knicks’ first-round playoff series against the Cavaliers but fell flat against the Heat. If New York were to do this deal, the front office would have to find a way to replace Mitch.
The 2024 first-round pick wouldn’t require the Knicks to dig deep into their draft assets, but none of that may matter. According to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, “the Bulls would be focused on getting a good young player, multiple first-round picks, and salary filler” in a potential LaVine trade. Johnson added that one source said a first-round pick and an “established, high-end player” might be enough to intrigue Chicago.
It seems likely that the Bulls would want more than one pick, meaning that if the Knicks are for some reason interested in pursuing LaVine, New York shouldn’t overpay for him. He isn’t the star player that the front office and fans have been waiting for, so it’s for the best that Rich Paul wants to keep his client away from the CAA Knicks.