3: Zach LaVine
The Knicks’ interest in LaVine has been apparent for some time now, with New York reportedly contacting Chicago recently to initiate a trade. The sides never got close to an agreement before ending talks, however.
It makes sense why team president Leon Rose wants to add LaVine, one of the best offensive shooting guards in the league.
He just completed his fifth consecutive year averaging at least 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. He also connected on 38.8% of his triples over that same span, taking a whopping 7.1 attempts each night.
His combination of long-range shooting talent and athletic finishing ability at the rim is only matched by a handful of players, making him more than worthy of being labeled as a true three-level scorer.
LaVine’s slashing, sweet-shooting playstyle would fit perfectly next to Brunson’s floor-bound, post-centric arsenal of deadly mid-range jumpers.
One of the only concerns is the price it would take to acquire him, which could hurt New York’s chances of building a consistent winner if they’re forced to give up too many first-round picks or young players.
Another concern is on the defensive end, where the 28-year-old’s effort levels fluctuate from game to game. It’s one of the main reasons why he ranked a mere ninth in net rating among the 12 Bulls players to average at least 10 minutes per contest last year.
A Brunson and LaVine-led backcourt would produce highlights in Madison Square Garden on a nightly basis, consistently picking up wins in the process. Questions about the cost of acquisition for the Chicago star as well as the pair’s tenacity on defense keep LaVine from being higher in the ranking, though.