As the season rolls around for NBA trade rumors, the New York Knicks will always be involved. They’re home to the largest market in the NBA, and despite their lack of recent success, free agents are often drawn to the big city life. At least that’s the idea.
In the past, while rumors of players joining the Knicks have been rife, nothing has actually happened. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were linked with the Knicks in 2019 but opted to team up with the Brooklyn Nets instead. Even stars like Kawhi Leonard and Zion Williamson were connected to New York in one way or another. And based on recent odds, these types of rumors will never end.
According to BetOnline.ag, the Knicks are one of the favorites to sign Zach LaVine from the Chicago Bulls this summer. After LaVine said he was “open-minded” about going into free agency, reports surfaced that he might be more interested in leaving than initially thought. And now the Knicks are one of the teams in the sweepstakes.
Multiple reports have surfaced that the Bulls are likely to keep LaVine despite the rumors, but that doesn’t mean LaVine won’t entertain the idea of leaving the Windy City.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Bulls are likely to bring LaVine back with a massive contract this summer. That being said, he also noted the Bulls guard’s desire to be pursued by other teams in the league.
“All signs point to the Bulls and LaVine striking a deal to make him the top player in the next five years, but the unrestricted free agent wants to be hosted and hosted by other suitors just to hear what.” there’s something going on outside. That means there’s always a chance that LaVine will go astray.” Cowley reports.
The Bulls have the opportunity to offer LaVine more money than any other club as they hold its birding rights. That would be a five-year, roughly $212 million deal that would allow LaVine to remain in Chicago through the 2026-27 season.
But despite the reports and Chicago’s confidence in their ability to bring LaVine back, it’s not impossible for a team to change LaVine’s mind. However, if the Knicks were determined to bring him on board, they would have to do a sign-and-trade. A possible deal could look like this.
It’s important to note that while the bulls would have to agree to any sign-and-trade offer from the Knicks, they don’t have a ton of leverage. If LaVine makes it clear that he wants to go to New York and the Bulls don’t stand a chance of re-signing him, they’d probably be forced to take whatever they can get in return. That being said, they could get a decent deal from the Knicks.
A Julius Randle deal jumps off the page immediately, but the bulls are unlikely to be interested. Instead, they would likely be forced to take selections from Alec Burks, Evan Fournier, Cam Reddish, or a variety of younger players. The Knicks could also choose to offer Chicago their 11th pick overall in hopes of striking a deal, though that seems unlikely.
The point is that New York would have to make room for LaVine if they wanted to bring him on board. They won’t have the available Cap spot to sign him directly this summer and, again, would need the Bulls’ help to facilitate a deal.
That being said, the Knicks are the team with the fifth-likeliest chance of landing LaVnie (barring he not re-signing with the Bulls). Keep an eye on that.