Trade No. 1: Julius Randle, first-round pick for DeMar DeRozan
The Chicago Bulls continue to cling to their veteran roster with white knuckles, but at some point, they will need to face the music. They are currently 3-6 and losing contact with the playoff field in the Eastern Conference already, and that’s with their entire rotation playing in every game.
DeMar DeRozan is 34 years old and on an expiring contract, making him the most likely key player on the Bulls to be moved this season. Could the Knicks get on the phone and pitch a Randle-for-DeRozan swap?
Adding DeRozan would give Jalen Brunson a running mate who is unafraid of the moment and can create offense when Brunson is double-teamed. He is a good secondary playmaker, has improved as a shooter into the passable range, and the Knicks could stagger DeRozan and Brunson to elevate the offense for all 48 minutes.
With DeRozan on an expiring contract, this move would give the Knicks a lot of flexibility next summer. If the pairing goes well they can bring DeRozan back on a reasonable deal, but if it goes poorly they can let him walk and open up some financial options as they pursue their next trade for a star. This deal does help the offense now, but it also frees up the cap sheet for the future.