On a slow-news Thursday filled with NFL drama (including murderers and drones!) but just a couple of games taking place across the NBA landscape, a bunch of interesting reports popped up on our timelines worth recapping.
Here is a review of two of the most prominent emerging during the past few days, so you don’t miss anything happening in the Knicks universe.
Former Knicks GM Scott Perry brought the warning
A little over three weeks ago we first heard from former Knicks GM Scott Perry, who popped up in a podcast to discuss some interesting topics.
Of course, now that his ties to the Knicks are none, Perry is free to talk on all things NBA—and then some. Back then, he touched on the Knicks chase of Donovan Mitchell in the summer of 2022, a trade New York ended up passing on completing. Simply put, Perry (and the Knicks, by extension) thought Mitchell “was not a singular force.”
Former Knicks GM Scott Perry on the Hoop Genius Podcast about the disgruntled superstar strategy: "If a guy's disgruntled somewhere else, what makes you think he won't be disgruntled when he comes to you? I'm just sayin. You hear this as a strategy now…Me personally, you have to… pic.twitter.com/4mNtnW8XkX— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) November 14, 2023
“If a guy’s disgruntled somewhere else, what makes you think he won’t be “ when he comes to you?” questioned Perry. “I’m just saying!”
Perry’s caution comes at the best possible time considering the latest rumors involving Zion Williamson and, most recently, Zach LaVine.
Williamson said on Sunday that he’s “taking a little backseat and trusting the process,” after the Pelicans dropped their fifth consecutive game last weekend.
New Orleans has bounced back this week by beating Dallas 131-110 entering Friday’s matchup against the reigning champs from Denver.
No need to mention that Williamson, while not directly linked to the Knicks on even a remotely strong rumor saga during the past year, has always been one of those “what-if” types of players when it comes to building trade scenarios and playing the trade machine game by Knicks fans.
“I don’t have the arrogance necessarily to believe that a guy’s gonna come to our place and he’s gonna be happy just because,” reasoned Perry. “When you look at these disgruntled stars, how many of them have left a situation where everything was catered around them and gone to the new situation, and it’s the exact same thing for them?”
Finally, Perry made an interesting comment regarding the Knicks, saying on Wednesday that the franchise is “just one player away,” and that said player “doesn’t have to be a superstar player.”
Could that player be... Chicago Bull’s Zach LaVine!?
Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine open to explore trade scenarios
It was a Shams Bomb this time, kinda, but the news dropped last Tuesday when Shams Charania and Darnell Mayberry reported for The Athletic that the Bulls are “open to trading Zach LaVine.”
Charania went on to write that “teams are probing the availability of LaVine,” according to sources reaching out to him, listing the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers in particular as franchises “expected to have a level of interest.”
The Knicks, if you noticed, did not make the list.
Well, that might make sense, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Post did some further reporting on Thursday stating that Zach LaVine’s camp “still doesn’t want the Knicks.”
I asked LaVine if he felt additional weight tonight given the news surrounding him the past 24 hours.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) November 16, 2023
“I’ve had this news for three years, Darnell,” he said. “It’s nothing new to me. This is a regular Wednesday.” pic.twitter.com/Je99jsZgJW
Asked about the rumors about a potential trade away from Chicago, LaVine simply answered “I’ve had this news for three years—It’s nothing new to me.
“This is a regular Wednesday,” LaVine stated.
According to Bondy’s sources, “LaVine’s camp would prefer not to go to Leon Rose’s squad.” The Knicks beat writer, however, added that the player (or his camp, or whoever) not having New York as a priority “doesn’t completely rule out a trade.”
Go ask Dame.
As LaVine sees it, the Knicks “aren’t a good fit,” per sources. And hey, he’s most probably right!
That’s because the Knicks 1) have already their starting /younger/cheaper wing in RJ Barrett, 2) don’t need more players holding the ball for long and getting huge usage rates, 3) need someone to play defense better than Evan Fournier who is already buried in the bench, and 4) are led by Leon Rose who is related to the CAA agency which obviously rivals LaVine’s agency Klutch Sports.
Just a few points right there.
Bondy also reported that New York wouldn’t have much interest in flipping Barrett for LaVine at this point. That, of course, aligns with what happened last summer when the Knicks faded Mitchell to keep their core around.
If this front office wasn’t willing to send IQ/Grimes/RJ packing a year ago for Mitchell, rest assured they won’t be doing so to land 28-year-old Zach LaVine five months before he turns 29. Not to mention the humongous contract he carries with him.
The Knicks vaguely explored (as is their wont) a potential trade for LaVine last season, but it didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now.
If we’re going to move on from trying to get Joel Embiid (or even Karl Anthony-Towns, for eff shake) to having to welcome glorified dunkers of LaVine’s ilk..., I’d be done with this team.
As the great Constantine said, “I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” As your very own philosopher would write, “I would rather die with RJ than live with LaVine.”