Knicks ‘Were in Heavy for a While’ on Bradley Beal Trade: Report

Allan Houston, William Wesley, Leon Rose, New York Knicks

Getty Executive Vice President and Senior Basketball Advisor William Wesley and President Leon Rose of the New York Knicks look on during the first half against the Chicago Bulls.

Now it can be told.

The New York Knicks tried but failed to get into the Bradley Beal sweepstakes.

“Other teams made their pitches. The Knicks were in heavy for a while. Boston kicked the tires. The Bucks made a move late. The Kings made inquiries, but were unwilling to include Keegan Murray, their first-round pick from last year, whom the Wizards had tried to move up to select in the ’22 draft, in a potential trade. But all of those teams wanted to attach bad contracts to their offers,” The Athletic’s David Aldridge wrote.

It was unclear which bad contract the Knicks have offered.

Ultimately, Beal, armed with his no-trade clause, chose to build a new superteam with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, not with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, shattering the notion that the Knicks have become a star destination following their resurgence under Tom Thibodeau, the least favorite coach in the NBA according to an April poll by The Athletic.

The Knicks’ interest in Beal was first reported by Fred Katz of The Athletic three days ago, the first concrete reporting since rumors started in 2021 when Michael Kay said that senior team advisor and executive vice president William Wesley was working through backchannels to bring Beal to New York.

Bradley Beal’s Trade Could Cost Knicks Pick

The Beal trade signaled a reset button for the Wizards, which means one of the Knicks’ protected first-round picks might not convey.

The Wizards’ pick, which the Knicks received from a multi-protected-first-round pick package from the Oklahoma City Thunder — via the Ousmane Dieng Draft Night trade as part of the salary cap-clearing series of deals that landed them Jalen Brunson — is top-12 protected next year and top-10 protected in 2025. It will be a top-8 protected in 2026, and if the Wizards retain that pick, it will turn into a pair of second-round picks (2026 and 2027).

With the Wizards pick having a diminished value, the Knicks are left with six tradable unprotected first-round picks (2024 to 2029) and three protected first-round picks (2024 top-14 protected via Denver, 2024 top-18 protected via Detroit and 2025 top-4 protected pick via Milwaukee) to work with in future star trades.

Is Zach LaVine the Next Star to Become Available?

Chicago Bulls‘ two-time All-Star guard Zach LaVine, who has four years left on his $215 million, five-year deal, could also hit the trade market, according to Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer.

“Wishful executives will keep their eyes peeled on Portland and Damian Lillard, but it’s the Chicago Bulls who have started contacting teams, quietly gauging the trade interest in Zach LaVine, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” Fischer wrote.

The Knicks have previously checked in with the Bulls regarding LaVine at the February trade deadline, and the names of Immanuel Quickley and veteran Derrick Rose came up, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.

“When the Knicks and Bulls talked casually about a potential deal during the season (several weeks before the trade deadline), I was told that some with Chicago had interest in Immanuel Quickley,” Begley wrote in his May 18 SNY mailbag.

“…Derrick Rose was also among the players who were discussed as part of trade packages in those casual conversations between the Knicks and Bulls, per people familiar with the matter.”

According to Fischer, LaVine’s price point will be steeper than Beal’s.