In recent days, there have been several rumors linking Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine to the New York Knicks. Last week, it was reported that the Knicks are closely monitoring the former slam dunk champion's situation with the Bulls in hopes of potentially acquiring him prior to the March 25 deadline. Given those reports, as well as LaVine's frequent mentions in trade rumors and ideas, NBA Analysis Network suggested on Wednesday that the Knicks could get him for a package featuring three bench players and several future draft picks.
As noted by the publication, the Knicks have a number of "young assets" they could offer to the Bulls, but they also have certain players who can be considered "untouchables," including second-year forward R.J. Barrett and center Mitchell Robinson. With Barrett showing improvement over his rookie numbers and Robinson making big contributions as a rebounder and defender, the outlet stressed that New York will likely have to part ways with some recent draft picks who haven't turned out as expected.
In the proposed deal, the Knicks would be acquiring LaVine for two of those seemingly failed prospects — Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox — as well as veteran wingman Reggie Bullock, first-round choices in the 2021 and 2024 drafts, a 2021 second-round selection, a 2023 second-rounder, and a first-round pick swap in the 2021 draft. Per NBA Analysis Network, this transaction could potentially help the Knicks reach the "next level" and build on their better-than-usual start this season, where they are ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 10-13 record.
"The Knicks have not had a star presence since [Carmelo] Anthony," the outlet added. "This is a chance for them to get a player that could help them for years to come."
As further pointed out, LaVine's presence in New York -- in the event the trade becomes a reality -- could help offset Barrett's weaknesses from beyond the arc while giving the club a player who could confidently "take the last shot." Currently, he is averaging 26.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.2 assists and shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc for the Bulls, per Basketball-Reference.
Although Ntilikina and Knox have been written off by many as busts, NBA Analysis Network wrote that the two youngsters might simply need a "change of scenery" and still have the chance of maturing into capable players if they get traded to Chicago. The site also suggested that the future picks could "go a long way" as the organization continues to rebuild, though it might need to make several other moves in order for the process to be successful.