‣ The New York Knicks are reportedly not interested in trading for Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls, despite the Bulls’ openness to move these players.
‣ The Los Angeles Lakers are still interested in trading for LaVine, but the Bulls are asking for Austin Reaves and multiple draft picks in return.
‣ LaVine’s contract, which is worth $40.04 million this season and $43.03 million in 2024-25, is considered difficult to move, especially for a team looking to add him as a second or third option.
A few Knicks notes on Immanuel Quickley, Bojan Bogdanovic, DeMar DeRozan, including how contract structure was a significant hurdle during Quickley-NYK extension negotiations:
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley)
So, here’s the latest buzz from the NBA world. The New York Knicks, it seems, aren’t keen on trading for Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls. Yep, you heard it right.
Now, the Bulls are open to letting go of LaVine, DeRozan, and a few other vets. But, the Knicks? They haven’t really gotten into any serious trade talks with Chicago.
On the other hand, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly still eyeing LaVine. But the Bulls want Austin Reaves and multiple draft picks in return. That’s a steep ask, don’t you think?
Ian Begley (@IanBegley) tweeted about the Knicks, Quickley, Bogdanovic, and DeRozan. He mentioned how contract structure was a significant hurdle during Quickley-NYK extension negotiations.
Reaves, by the way, signed a four-year, $53.83 million contract extension with the Lakers in July. His deal includes a 15% trade bonus. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium said, “The Bulls, I’m sure, would covet Austin Reaves in any potential Zach LaVine trade.”
LaVine’s contract is a biggie. He’s making $40.04 million this season and is set to make $43.03 million in 2024-25. This is part of the five-year, $215.16 million deal he signed with the Bulls last July. His deal also includes a $48.96 million player option for 2026-27.
K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago wrote, “This isn’t an easy contract to move, particularly if it’s a team looking to add LaVine as a second or third option.” He added, “While the Lakers never have blinked at paying the luxury tax, and while I expect them to show interest, LaVine would be the third option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.”
Shams Charania gave an update on LaVine’s foot injury. He said, “He’s going to be ending up missing a total of at least 4-5 weeks… Zach LaVine and the Bulls have been open to exploring trade avenues, but for now he will remain shelved.”
The question is, will the Lakers be willing to add a player making more than $40 million over the next three seasons as a third option? That’s a pretty big gamble.
Right now, the Knicks are 12-8 and rank fifth overall in the Eastern Conference standings. If they’re not willing to add LaVine or DeRozan, they might revisit a previous trade pursuit.
Back in October, New York seemed interested in adding Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has a history with the three-time All-Star, having coached the Wolves from 2016 through 2019.
However, those discussions died down after the 2023-24 season kicked off. So, for now, we’ll just have to wait and see how things unfold.