Latest trade report should keep Knicks from making desperate move for "star" player

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are fresh off a disappointing 117-113 loss to the Jazz, a team that had won only seven games entering Wednesday's contest. Pressure is mounting on New York from the fan base and media to do something, but what matters is how the front office feels.

A lot can change between now and the Feb. 8 trade deadline, but as of right now, there isn't a superstar who's rumored to be traded this season. The earliest the Knicks are expected to make their big trade is over the offseason, not during 2023-24.

If New York got desperate (and the organization has been very patient), it could go after Zach LaVine. In November, Shams Charania and Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic reported that LaVine and the Bulls had "increased openness" (subscription required) about trading the 28-year-old.

Luckily, it's been reported several times that LaVine's camp is against a trade to the Knicks. LaVine is represented by Klutch Sports, and New York is a CAA organization. Still, the Knicks have inquired about the two-time All-Star in the past, but nothing serious came of it. It's been assumed that LaVine wants to go to the Lakers, and Chicago Sun-Times' Joe Cowley recently confirmed that.

Bulls' Zach LaVine reportedly prefers to be traded to Lakers

Cowley also reported that Chicago is "finding no real market interest" in Zach LaVine. He's missed the last several games with a foot injury and will be out for at least a couple more weeks. His current contract runs through 2025-26, with a $49 million player option in 2026-27. That's a lot of money for a player of LaVine's caliber.

LaVine would give the Knicks an added source of shooting, but like Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, he likes to have the ball in his hands. He also isn't a good defender. The last thing New York should do is part with draft assets and young players for LaVine, as a trade would set the Knicks back.

It's a good thing that LaVine prefers LA because if Leon Rose and Co. got antsy, the front office might cash in their chips for him. It will be difficult enough for LaVine to end up where he wants on the Lakers. It isn't a good sign when an All-Star doesn't have a trade market.

Most New York fans can agree that it's a blessing Rich Paul and Klutch Sports don't want to do business with the CAA Knicks.