2. Knicks trade for yet another former All-Star Bulls guard
The Knicks are another team that has been repeatedly linked to the Bulls in potential Zach LaVine trade negotiations over the years. In fact, the two parties reportedly discussed a deal ahead of last season’s trade deadline, but it never came to fruition. Fortunately for New York, it seems LaVine’s perceived value has taken a dip since last February.
Although the Knicks have managed to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference, their roster still lacks a clear answer at the shooting guard position. Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes have shown flashes but have failed to consistently play at a starting level, Donte DiVincenzo is a serviceable reserve (and nothing more), and the Evan Fournier signing has been an unmitigated disaster. New York could clear out their logjam of middling talent by dealing for a true All-Star talent like LaVine here.
The Bulls make up for missing out on a prized prospect in the 2019 NBA Draft with this trade.
For this deal to happen from a value perspective, RJ Barrett almost certainly has to be included in this deal. Off to a hot start to the season, Barrett is averaging career highs in points per game (22.6), field goal percentage (48.7%), and three-point percentage (50%), making him an interesting prospect worth gambling on — and potentially a great sell-high opportunity for New York. Meanwhile, Evan Fournier is little more than dead money on the Knicks’ payroll at this point, so including a pair of second-rounders could be worth it for New York to balance out their books.
Patrick Williams hasn’t looked a bit of the premiere prospect the Bulls had hoped he’d be, so giving Barrett the chance to be the face of the franchise here could potentially pay off. If the Knicks are unwilling to include Barrett given his apparent breakout start to the 2023-24 season, they could counter by swapping in a player like Josh Hart or DiVincenzo, but they’re likely to be outbid by other teams with better offers. The bottom line here is that if the Knicks are unwilling to trade Barrett, this deal is probably already dead in the water. In my opinion, these next three trades have a much higher chance of being accepted.