With pressure from every side to make a move for a star player, the New York Knicks could look to acquire Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine to strengthen their offense.
Knicks Kill 2 Birds With One Stone and Upgrade From RJ Barrett With LaVine Deal
Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway proposed a trade for the Knicks where they’d send RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, and two future first-round picks to the Bulls in exchange for LaVine and justified it by saying:
“LaVine could combine with Jalen Brunson to give the Knicks one of the NBA’s premier scoring backcourts and allow them to finally move on from the shackles of potential in RJ Barrett. The Duke product is who he is. He’s a decent but sometimes inefficient scorer and decent perimeter defender whose performance would be met with a collective shrug if he played anywhere other than New York.”
The Knicks have the defense and the shooting to match up with any team in the NBA but appear to be in need of more scoring punch at the top of their ranks.
Barrett has improved from the free-throw line and has shown aggression in scoring opportunities, but he has not shown the ability to transcend his game in the playoffs nor take the next step year-over-year.
Additionally, Fournier has been vocal for weeks about his frustration with being taken out of the Knicks’ lineup. Unloading his $37 million over the next two years along with Barrett and picks that won’t hurt the Knicks’ bottom line over the next two drafts sounds worth it in exchange for a player like LaVine.
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Failing Bulls Big-Three Experiment Opens the Door for LaVine Trade
On paper, the Bulls have a big three that look like they could make a deep playoff run. They’ve failed to do so, underachieving mightily with LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic producing only one first-round appearance since 2020-21.
Not only is LaVine one of the best pure three-point shooters in basketball, but he also delivers in the clutch. He’s ranked in the top 15 in clutch points per game in two of the last three seasons as well as three of the last five.
He also can be counted on for big scoring nights on a regular basis. He has 20 40-point games in his four-year tenure with the Bulls.
Without the services of point guard Lonzo Ball, the Bulls have even less of a chance to truly make noise in the East. All signs point to a re-tool or rebuild from the franchise and LaVine’s departure can get that ball rolling.