Today marks the first day of December which means it’s the time of year when rumors about potential trades start surfacing. While the trade deadline is still months away, teams have now gotten far enough into the current season to have at least an idea of what their ceiling is and just how good, or bad, they might be.
One team in the midst of its early season evaluations, are the Chicago Bulls. They looked like they could make some noise a few seasons ago after getting off to an incredibly hot start in 2021 but ever since Lonzo Ball went down with a knee injury in January of 2022, the team has been in a perpetual struggle. Unfortunately for them and their fans, they’ve become much too comfortable in an area no franchise wants to find themselves in. Not good enough to be a playoff team. And not bad enough to get a high lottery pick. So it comes as no surprise that DeMar DeRozan, who is one of the big moveable pieces on the 6-14 Bulls has been floated around as a potential trade candidate.
Enter your New York Knicks. It’s hard to gauge how eager Leon Rose and co. are to get a major deal done during the season and who they are actually focused on targeting, but it’s no secret that New York is and has been in the market for another piece to put alongside Jalen Brunson. Because of that, fans, analysts, and reporters alike have become accustomed to mentioning the Knicks as a possible landing spot whenever a notable name becomes available.
Connect the two aforementioned dots, and you have yourself a slew of DeRozan to the Knicks rumors, and mind you, this isn’t even the first time that these rumors have come up.
But these reports don’t really make too much sense and there are multiple reasons why Knicks fans would be wise to ignore these reports for now. First off, per Sam Amick of The Athletic, the report is that it is DeRozan who would prefer to end up in New York, not the other way around. This doesn’t mean that the Knicks’ front office isn’t entertaining the thought or that they won’t ever talk to Chicago about a potential deal, but as far as we know, at least right now, there have been no reports of the Knicks being interested in acquiring DeRozan.
Two, there are plenty of other targets out there that are better. Whether you believe them or not, Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, Donovan Mitchell, Pascal Siakam, and Zion Williamson, to name a few, have all been mentioned in rumors as potential trade candidates.
Like most rumors, it’s hard to tell if there’s any real traction here but the truth is, there are guys out there, like the ones mentioned above, who would move the needle a lot more than DeRozan could at this point in his career.
Now, this could mean that DeRozan, who is currently in the final season of his salary, could be acquired without giving up as much, leaving the Knicks with more depth and future picks. That could certainly be an interesting conversation to have were it not for DeRozan’s fit with the current roster, which is where reason number three comes into play.
DeRozan, as good as he may be, is a player whose main skillsets are things the Knicks’ current roster already has a lot of. He is a wing who isn’t a great outside shooter, who operates best with the ball in his hands, and who likes to take a lot of midrange shots. He isn’t the athlete he once was and isn’t a particularly great defender either. In a vacuum, DeRozan and his talents are still capable of helping out a contending team. But with the likes of Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett already on the roster, adding an aging veteran who won’t make a lot of threes, needs the ball in his hands, and won’t be a great defender makes no sense.
As I’m sure we’ve all become accustomed to, the “Knicks interested in X” rumors will keep coming so this likely won’t be the last we hear about the Knicks and DeRozan. But hopefully, the front office has other plans and the interest and rumors stay a one-way street.
Hearing about them not being able to get a deal done for guys like Mitchell, Embiid, or Towns, only to have them settle for DeRozan would be incredibly frustrating.