Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine on the Knicks ‘radar’

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Heading into their Feb. 3 showdown for the second time early this week with the New York Knicks and first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau, the Chicago Bulls have an opportunity to extend their winning streak to two games. But in the process, there could be some talk about the Bulls on the trade market ahead of the deadline this year.

One recent rumor ahead of the trade deadline this year concerns their star shooting guard and former UCLA Bruin Zach LaVine. Apparently one of the teams looking into a potential LaVine trade ahead of the deadline this year is the Knicks. Thibs and the Knicks will clearly get a good look at LaVine and the Bulls this week to scout him out further.

According to a report from Marc Berman of the New York Post on Feb. 2, the Knicks are a prime team that has LaVine “on their radar” for a possible trade this season. LaVine would give the Knicks an established star, and they do have a plethora of young trade chips to work with.

Here’s more on what this LaVine report from the NY Post had to say on the matter.

"The Knicks need more scoring and LaVine is a sniper — one of the best dunkers in the NBA. He’s averaging 26.8 points and 5.3 assists. SNY reported over the summer LaVine would be on the Knicks’ radar.The biggest edge the Knicks would have over many teams interested is they have $18 million in cap space to absorb a big contract without giving away much salary. He’s one of many players on the Knicks’ radar, sources contend. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf could be hesitant to deal LaVine to Thibodeau considering his Bulls’ breakup was ugly."

However, LaVine is rolling for the Bulls this season and first-year executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas might not be so willing to part ways with him so easily in the near future. He’s looking to get his first career All-Star nod this season, which would come at an opportune time for him.

So far this season, LaVine has played in all 19 games for the Bulls (all of which he’s started in), averaging around 35.5 minutes on the floor per game. LaVine has led the Bulls both in minutes per game and total minutes played thus far.

He’s averaged 26.6 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 4.2 turnovers. LaVine shot 51.0 percent from the field, an efficient 41.9 percent from beyond the arc, and 88.1 percent from the free-throw line.

That all has amounted to a career-best 3.0 box plus/minus rating, 0.8 value over replacement player rating, .137 win shares per 48 minutes, 1.9 total win shares, 114 offensive rating/113 defensive rating, sparkling 65.3 true shooting percentage, and a 21.2 player efficiency rating. He’s posting career bests in most shooting percentages, per game stats, and advanced metrics so far this season.

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LaVine and the Bulls knocked off Thibs and the Knicks on the night of Feb. 1 at home at the United Center, by the final score of 110-102. The Bulls will face the Knicks again at home at the United Center on Feb. 3, with tip off time set for 7 p.m. CT.