After putting forth an inspiring 2022-23 campaign that saw a fifth-seeded regular season finish and their first playoff series win in a decade, the New York Knicks front office will likely be looking to bolster the team’s assortment of talent this summer and, in turn, better their odds for success for next year.
Considering the club has little wiggle room when it comes to free agency spending flexibility, should Leon Rose and company be looking to add a star-level player to the fold, it’s safe to assume that their best bet at doing so is by means of executing a trade, and Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley seems to believe there’s a deal with the Chicago Bulls that should be considered.
The proposed trade reads as follows:
New York Knicks receive: Zach LaVine
Chicago Bulls receive: RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Isaiah Hartenstein
Even though the Knicks finished with the fourth-best offensive rating (117.0) and 11-best points per game averages (116.0) in the association this past season, Buckley suggests that the front office should still look into improving the club’s scoring punch.
“This probably wasn’t his best season—his player efficiency rating was only his fourth-best, per Basketball Reference—and he still finished it with per-game averages of 24.8 points and 4.2 assists. All three layers of his 48.5/37.5/84.8 shooting slash bettered New York’s team marks. He is an elite scorer and would immediately form a three-headed, point-producing monster next to Brunson and Randle,” Buckley wrote.
For the Bulls, Buckley suggests there’s “a distinct possibility” that they opt to embark on a rebuild and, should this happen, receiving on a return package headlined by “high-ceiling prospects” such as RJ Barrett (22) and Obi Toppin (25) could be “a great way to start scripting the franchise’s next chapter” while also being enough to match LaVine’s outbound $215 million deal.
Knicks Tied for Best Odds to Land LeBron James
If the Knicks actually are interested in making a splash this offseason, they are viewed as a realistic landing spot for possibly the biggest name that some believe could wind up becoming available.
According to BetOnline sportsbook, the Knicks are tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for having the best odds to strike a trade for Lakers superstar LeBron James if he were to leave Los Angeles this summer.
This trade chatter comes just mere days after LeBron James made the attention-grabbing comments suggesting he may consider retirement this summer following Los Angeles’ Game 5 elimination during the 2023 Western Conference Finals.
BetOnline sportsbook places his not retiring this offseason as the overwhelming betting favorite at -1000, which, to some, is an indicator that his recent comments are a way for the superstar forward to “control the narrative” and, instead, simply force his way out of the Lakers organization.
‘Strong Support’ Among Knicks Brass to Retire No. 7
Since this news broke, discussions have been held regarding his placement among the franchise’s all-time greats and whether his accolades and accomplishments from his tenure in the Big Apple warrant his jersey to be retired and hung up in the rafters at Madison Square Garden.
While there have been many different views on the matter, SNY’s Ian Begley reported on May 24 that “there was strong support among some in Madison Square Garden to retire the number.”
Begley would note in his report that while there may be those affiliated with the team who wish to see his No. 7 jersey raised into the rafters, ultimately, “No decision has been made yet.”
Carmelo Anthony spent seven seasons as a member of the Knicks (2011-2017) and finished his career in orange and blue boasting per-game averages of 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while shooting 44.3% from the field and 36.9% from deep.