The Knicks need to stay far away from injury-prone Bulls star

NBA: Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs, knicks
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

When considering potential trade targets this offseason, the New York Knicks should be wary of pursuing Chicago Bulls star shooter Zach LaVine. LaVine’s career, characterized by volatility and frequent injuries, makes him a high-risk option.

At 28 years old, he played only 25 games last season, averaging 34.9 minutes per game. During this limited playtime, he managed to score 19.5 points per game with 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists, shooting 45.2% from the field and 34.9% from three-point range.

Despite suggestions from Chicago reporter K.C. Johnson of NBC that the Bulls and LaVine might seek a trade compromise, the risks associated with his recent performance and health are considerable.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs
Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Contract Concerns and the Knicks’ Strategy

The Bulls have significantly reduced their asking price from last year, reflecting LaVine’s diminished impact this past season and their desire to offload his hefty salary.

Heading into the third year of a five-year, $215 million contract, LaVine is set to earn $43 million at age 29 and $46 million at age 30 and holds a player option for the 2026–27 season at $49 million. This financial commitment is daunting, especially for a player whose ability to stay healthy and contribute consistently is highly questionable.

The Knicks, having experienced the detrimental effects of injuries in the postseason, should steer clear of adding another player with a similar track record. Despite the lowered trade demands from the Bulls, engaging in such a deal would contradict the Knicks’ strategic needs. The risk of LaVine’s inconsistency and potential for injury does not align with the team’s goals.

Moving forward, the Knicks would be better served by holding out for a player who not only fits their system better but also boasts a more reliable health record.

High-caliber options like Kevin Durant or LeBron James, or indeed any player with a consistent performance and health history, should be at the forefront of their considerations rather than settling for a compromised asset like LaVine. This cautious approach will ensure that the Knicks do not compromise their roster’s integrity for short-term gains.

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