If the Bulls trade DeMar DeRozan, he's already made it known where he wants to go. It used to be unusual for a player to list the New York Knicks as a preferred destination, but it should become more common with the culture shifting.
There hasn't been much buzz between the Knicks and the Bulls. In early December, SNY's Ian Begley reported that the two sides hadn't had "advanced talks" about a trade for DeRozan or Zach LaVine. With the deadline looming, that could change.
SNY's David Vertsberger created five trades that New York should consider before the deadline, including one involving DeRozan. Considering he'll be an unrestricted free agent over the summer and the Bulls will have to fight to be a Play-In team, it makes sense to think about a DeRozan trade.
Is this DeMar DeRozan mock trade one the Knicks should consider?
The Knicks would send Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, and a protected first-round pick to the Bulls for DeRozan in the proposed deal.
The loss of Fournier wouldn't affect New York's standing, but it would affect the team's pursuit of a star. He has a $19 million club option for 2024-25 that the Knicks could pick up over the summer to use him in a trade, but that's reportedly something the front office doesn't want to gamble on (subscription required). In this case, the team could get something of value in return for Fournier.
Then there's Grimes, who has been wrapped up in trade rumors after The Athletic's Fred Katz reported in January that New York was "actively fielding offers" for Grimes. Like Fournier, Grimes would be key in a trade for a star, as he's a solid young guard.
The Knicks already picked up Grimes' $4.9 million option for 2024-25, and he'll be eligible to sign an extension over the summer. He'll enter restricted free agency in 2025 (like the Immanuel Quickley situation) if he doesn't. Grimes has reportedly expressed frustration with his diminished role, so the front office is doing its due diligence.
Regarding DeRozan, there's a chance New York would only have him for less than half of a season. Yes, he's expressed his desire to be a Knick, but there's no guarantee he'd re-sign with the team in free agency.
Better yet, is the 34-year-old a player New York wants as part of its future? DeRozan could start in place of Randle until he returns, but would he be okay with being delegated to a bench role after that?
DeRozan would be an offensive upgrade over Grimes, but the same can't be said for the defensive end. He wouldn't help the Knicks' spacing, either. He's a career 29.5% shooter from three and is shooting 33.6% from deep this season.
Parting with a protected first-round pick wouldn't hurt New York, but there's not a strong enough case for the team to acquire DeRozan. There's reason to believe Chicago would also want more in a trade.
Sorry, DeRozan, but you're not worth disrupting the chemistry!