The New York Knicks were off to a promising start to the 2020-21 season, securing five wins across their first eight games. Some of their key victories included ones over Milwaukee, Indiana, and Utah.
With players such as RJ Barrett and Julius Randle showing early progress to their respective careers, many still believe that New York is primed for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. However, it appears that the front office may indulge in trade talks in order to accommodate for future success.
This week, it was reported that the Knicks are continuing to monitor Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine, and whether the team will attempt to trade him prior to the 2021 Trade Deadline. The deadline is scheduled for March 25th.
This season, LaVine is averaging a career-high in points (27), assists (5.3) and rebounds (5.2). His play as of late has fans demanding an All-Star spot for him. However, there have been some defensive inefficiencies as well. When on the court, the Bulls are being outscored by 17.6 points per 100 possessions this season.
With a contract that expires at the end of the 2021-22 season, this is ideally the perfect time for the Bulls to explore trade options. Chicago is unlikely to provide LaVine with a max contract, whereas another suitor might.
The Bulls are not seeking an immediate trade, but have been down this road before when it comes to LaVine. The Brooklyn Nets showed interest prior to trading for Houston Rockets’ James Harden. With superstars around the league (Anthony Davis and Giannis Anteokounmpo for example) signing extensions with their respective teams, free agency may get dry to a degree.
The Knicks sit with an 9-11 record through this point in the season, and have the draft capital to at least force the Bulls to take a second look. The team owns owns its future first-rounders and has 2021 and 2023 first-rounders coming from the Dallas Mavericks as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade. If a trade were to take place, the Knicks would likely need to include a young talent.