NBA Trade Rumors: Bulls' Zach LaVine '1 of Many Players' on Knicks' Radar

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2021

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, left, looks to pass as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard tries to steal the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine is reportedly being considered by the New York Knicks as a trade target as they look to bolster their roster.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported LaVine is "one of many players on the Knicks' radar."

While the Bulls have shown no urgency in moving LaVine, he's their best trade chip if they are looking to prepare for a rebuilding period.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau guided LaVine with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2016-17 before they sent him to Chicago as part of a trade for Jimmy Butler. The deal looks like a steal for Chicago in retrospect, given Butler lasted only one season with the Wolves before going scorched earth to force his way out of Minnesota the following year.

LaVine has developed into one of the game's most talented, versatile scorers. He's averaging 26.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists through his first 19 appearances in 2020-21, shooting a career-high 41.9 percent from three-point range.

Defense has always been LaVine's biggest on-court issue, and he remains a net-negative defender. If any coach can coax a maximum effort on that end of the court, it's a defensive wizard like Thibodeau.

The Knicks also have enough cap space to absorb LaVine without sending a significant amount of salary back to Chicago, though it's likely the Bulls will want a combination of young players and draft picks in return.