Grade the trade: Bulls deal Zach LaVine to Knicks in surprise hypothetical

Zach LaVine, R.J. Barrett, Chicago Bulls (Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports)
Zach LaVine, R.J. Barrett, Chicago Bulls (Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Chicago Bulls are facing a crucial offseason. They have multiple key free agents but have reached the playoffs just once in the last six years. Do the Bulls re-sign Nikola Vucevic and try to run it back or is it finally time to tear things down and rebuild? It is not an easy decision. Chicago has made two-time All-Star Zach LaVine available, but the asking price is high.

Will the Bulls trade LaVine? He is one of the league’s best scorers, but the 28-year-old is not expected to bring back a massive haul like the Jazz got for Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. LaVine is under contract for at least three more years, so Chicago should not sell low. They must hold out for their asking price.

The Knicks are rumored to be chasing a star player for the second straight summer. They passed on Donovan Mitchell, but could LaVine be their target? New York has the assets, and they used some of them to get the two-time All-Star in the latest fake trade.

Chicago Bulls trade Zach LaVine to Knicks in a hypothetical deal

The Knicks would love to add another star to their core in the Big Apple after advancing to the second round of the playoffs. Jalen Brunson is locked in as their point guard, but could New York put one of the league’s best scorers around him?

Is Barrett an established high-end player? The 23-year-old has averaged 19.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists over the last two seasons combined. He is not the most efficient scorer, but Barrett has plenty of potential. The Bulls also get a quality starting center and a first-round pick in this deal. Is that enough?

Here is a look at the trade from both sides before crafting a grade for the Chicago Bulls.