Now that it's getting colder out, the trade machines are heating up. Unsurprisingly, the New York Knicks are one of the hottest trade rumor teams. To trade for a star, or not. That's the question.
Because of the Bulls' rough (and expected) start to the season, players like DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine have found themselves as the centerpiece in mock trades. LaVine hasn't publicly requested a trade, but in November, The Athletic reported that he and Chicago are "open" to a trade (subscription required).
DeRozan's situation is less complicated. He's making $28.6 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Rather than risk him walking for nothing in the offseason, the Bulls should trade him before the February deadline.
While it could be another couple of months until DeRozan is traded, the Knicks have been linked to him recently. Bleacher Report's Greg Swartz came up with one trade that every In-Season Tournament quarterfinals team 'wishes' it could make right now. Guess what? For New York, Swartz created a New York-Chicago deal centered around DeRozan.
Should Knicks consider making this DeMar DeRozan trade with Bulls?
Swartz chose two young Knicks players that he said would help the Bulls "kickstart their rebuild" in a trade.
Outside of DeRozan helping New York contain Giannis Antetokounmpo in the quarterfinals, Swartz argued that he'd also be a valuable piece in the playoffs.
"DeRozan could be one of the cheapest All-Star talents available given his age (34) and expiring contract, making him a low-cost option to help New York chase a title this spring."- Greg Swartz, Bleacher Report
It's worth noting that DeRozan's numbers are down from recent seasons. He's averaging 21.5 points (he averaged 24.5 last season), 4.9 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game. The biggest concern is his shooting splits of 45.6/37.5/81.3. His efficiency has taken a dip.
As for Quentin Grimes, it's no secret that fans have been calling for the guard to to the bench. The issue with that is he's tasked with guarding the opposing team's best player, which wouldn't be his role with the second unit.
While it makes sense why fans want Grimes to be in a different role, as he's struggling offensively, trading him would be a stretch. DeRozan, who's a career 29.4% three-point shooter, would affect the team's spacing and flow. Like Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, he likes to have the ball in his hands.
As for the pick, giving up the Mavericks' top-10 protected pick for DeRozan wouldn't keep the Knicks from making another trade for a star player.
New York's front office gave up a protected first-round pick for Josh Hart last season, who could've left the Knicks in free agency. Leon Rose and Co. made that move knowing that Hart would commit to New York in the offseason, and they'd need that same commitment from DeRozan.
The Bleacher Report trade could be approached as a win-now move, but how much would DeRozan really move the needle? Enough to give up on Grimes? Enough to help the Knicks make it past the second round of the playoffs? Although he has New York on his preferred list of destinations, the deal isn't one the Knicks should do.