The day after the New York Knicks lost their second game of the season to the star-powered Celtics, a new All-Star trade target hit the market.
New York is 5-5 in its first 10 games, best for ninth in the Eastern Conference. Granted, the team was without RJ Barrett in Boston, but many believe the Knicks are still a star away from being contenders. Joel Embiid has been a hot-topic name, but between Tyrese Maxey’s hot start and Philadelphia having a league-best 8-1 record, New York may have to kiss its Embiid trade dreams goodbye.
There’s another Eastern Conference All-Star the Knicks could pursue, although he’s far from being at Embiid’s level.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Bulls and Zach LaVine are open to exploring a trade (subscription required).
Should Knicks reach out to Bulls about potential Zach LaVine trade?
Leon Rose and the front office would be doing the organization a disservice if they didn’t reach out about a Zach LaVine trade. New York has the assets to get a deal done, and given that Chicago is open to trading him, it’s worth a phone call.
At this point, the Knicks know whether or not they want to seriously pursue LaVine. It isn’t exactly a surprise that both sides aren’t opposed to a trade. The Bulls are 4-7 to start 2023-24 (12th in the East). The LaVine-DeRozan-Vucevic trio has been together since 2021-22, and in the past two seasons, Chicago only has one first-round playoff exit to show for it.
If the Knicks were seriously interested in trading for LaVine, it’d likely mean giving up RJ Barrett. When you compare LaVine and Barrett’s stats side by side, Barrett has been the better player this season.
LaVine is averaging a team-high 21.9 points per game on 40.9% shooting from the field and a career-low 30.9% from three. Barrett is averaging 22.6 points per game on an efficient 48.7% shooting from the floor and 50% from deep. LaVine’s played in all 11 of the Bulls’ games, while Barrett’s been limited to seven, with his most recent outing being because of a migraine.
It’s more likely that LaVine will go to a contender, with the Sixers and Heat being two conference teams that come to mind. Maybe he’ll finally even get his wish of playing alongside LeBron James in Los Angeles. He is represented by Klutch Sports, after all. Whatever happens, hope that Zach LaVine won’t end up in New York.
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