Everyone in the NBA knows that the New York Knicks go hand in hand with the Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Leon Rose joined New York as team president in 2020 after being one of CAA's top agents, which started the star trade hubbub in the first place.
Rose has connections with top players he used to represent, such as Joel Embiid. The Knicks have a history of signing or trading for CAA clients, such as Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo. When Julius Randle switched representation over the summer, fans began to speculate if it meant a trade was coming. That's how intertwined the organization is with CAA.
On Tuesday, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that there is "increased openness" (subscription required) from the Bulls and Zach LaVine on a trade. New York wasn't explicitly listed as one of the teams interested in LaVine, but given the team's assets and position, the Knicks were labeled as a possible landing spot. Based on the latest report, that's no longer the case.
LaVine is represented by Klutch Sports, founded by Rich Paul. CAA and Klutch don't have the best relationship, and it was reported a few months ago that LaVine's reps didn't want him to be traded to New York. With the latest rumors swirling, New York Post's Stefan Bondy confirmed that's still the case (subscription required).
"As news buzzed Tuesday about the increased likelihood of Zach LaVine being traded, the Knicks inevitably were thrown into the speculation pool because that’s the nature of a big-market team with assets and needs. But there are multiple reasons a LaVine-to-Knicks deal won’t happen. A source reiterated to The Post this week that LaVine’s camp would prefer not to go to Leon Rose’s squad."- Stefan Bondy, New York Post
Zach LaVine's camp reportedly against trade to New York Knicks
The stars are aligning for Zach LaVine to be traded to the Lakers, a team full of players represented by Klutch Sports. That's great news for the Knicks.
LaVine is signed through 2026-27, a $48.9 million player option. He's making over $40 million for the next four seasons, including 2023-24. If he were traded to New York, he'd immediately become the highest-paid player on the roster.
Outside of the financial implications of a LaVine trade, it'd mean that New York would have to give up draft assets and at least one of its key young players. RJ Barrett has played at too high of a level to start the season for the Knicks to consider sending him to the Bulls.
It seems as if Rich Paul is working his magic to get another client of his to Los Angeles. Enjoy the West Coast, Zach LaVine!