Knicks Linked to High-Scoring $82 Million Forward in Possible Trade

julius randle

Getty DeMar DeRozan and Julius Randle could become teammates.

The New York Knicks are holding down the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference after going on a seven game win streak.

This would take them out of the running for the play-in tournament and give them a guaranteed spot in the playoffs, so New York would like to keep it that way if possible. A way for them to do that would be to make a trade for a piece that would make them even better.

One team that could soon become a seller is the Chicago Bulls, a team that was beaten twice by the Knicks over the win streak. The Bulls boast a lot of talent that could be lucrative to other teams, including high scoring swingman DeMar DeRozan.

A breakdown of trade value for the Bulls by NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson, DeRozan is named the teams top asset and he’s also named as a possible target for the Knicks.

Knicks In the Running for DeRozan?

So far, there’s nothing that guarantees the Bulls will be making moves, but it seems to be trending in that direction as they slide further and further down the standings.

The 33-year-old DeRozan has been named the team’s best trade chip, and that might have something to do with the fact he’s averaging 25.9 points per game. He’s not a player who shoots many threes, averaging just 1.4 attempts per game, but he’s somebody who can get a basket with ease. Teams can always use that type of scoring and the Knicks are no exception.

“He could make sense for a team looking to make a big splash like the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks, or as a contender looking for a final piece,” Johnson wrote.

Struggling this season isn’t a good thing for the Bulls because they owe the Magic their first-round pick unless it’s in the top four of the NBA Draft, something that appears to be unlikely. A trade would be a way to replenish the war chest of picks, and the Knicks have plenty to offer.

The Knicks have been linked to Zach LaVine in the past, but injuries and decreased production have knocked him down the list of priorities. He’s six years younger than DeRozan, but he’s carrying a massive contract with him while DeRozan’s will be up in 2024.

Don’t Count Out LaVine

Just because LaVine has a big contract doesn’t mean he’s unobtainable, but what it does mean is the Knicks will have to give up a lot of pieces.

He has a five-year, $215 million deal, but the Knicks do have a way to match that. Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish are currently out of the rotation, and that would seem to indicate they would be on the trade block. Rose reuniting with the Bulls would be a good story, but it wouldn’t be something that helps them out a whole lot.

With all that said, LaVine is certaintly considered to be in the running for the Knicks, and New York definitely has assets to make it happen, but he might not be the best option between the two stars.

“LaVine is enduring an up-and-down season that began with him in and out of the lineup as he dealt with a management plan for his twice-surgically repaired knee,” Johnson wrote. “Still, he, too, could be coveted by teams like the Lakers and Knicks should he be prominently placed in trade talks.”

With two pieces on the Bulls that could help out the Knicks, it makes a lot of sense for New York to pick up the phone, especially since they have the assets. Coach Tom Thibodeau has been going with a 9-man rotation during the win streak, and if that were to stay then he’d have to ship one of the current members out. Immanuel Quickley would be an option as he’s already been reported to be on the block by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

There’s still a lot of time left before the February trade deadline, so the Knicks can afford to be patient, especially if they keep climbing the standings after each game.

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