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Knicks, Nets doing homework on Zach LaVine in case he asks for trade

Zach LaVine, Bulls, Nets, Knicks

The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets are carefully eyeing rising star Zach LaVine in case he requests a trade from the Chicago Bulls, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.

Both teams have done some background work on LaVine, preparing in case the Bulls decide to part ways with the 25-year-old guard. LaVine, however, is the one of the few shining points of the most recent Bulls’ season, as the shooting guard averaged 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.5 steals in 2019-20. He connected on 38% of his 3-point attempts and a robust 49.7% of his two-point attempts.

New team president Arturas Karnisovas will have a vision in mind and the new suit is expected to evaluate his team and all the moving parts surrounding it before making personnel or roster decisions. The revamping of the Bulls front office could result in swift changes, including parting ways with LaVine, who recently signed a four-year, $80 million deal in 2018.

His contract is set to expire at the end of the 2021-22 season, by which time he will be 27 and ripe for the taking if he continues to ascend as a budding star in the game.

Should Chicago continue to struggle in the standings, the Bulls could look to salvage what they can for some of their best names instead of letting them walk away in free agency.

The Knicks and the Nets are doing their due diligence by keeping an eye on LaVine and the Bulls. Others like Paul George, Bradley Beal, Aaron Gordon, and Jrue Holiday will also become free agents by 2022, though the first two are likely to carry a higher price tag and a stiffer bidding war for their services.