It’s been no secret that the Knicks have been interested in potentially acquiring Zach LaVine and have engaged in multiple trade talks with the Bulls dating back to December of last year. And while we had heard that the Bulls themselves were also interested in gauging LaVine’s value and potentially dealing him this summer, we hadn’t really heard much about how LaVine and his camp felt. But that changed yesterday.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported that LaVine, who is represented by Klutch Sports, made it clear that he would prefer not to deal with a Knicks front office that has strong ties with CAA and seemed to prioritize the agency’s players. Admittedly, this is a side of the Leon Rose-CAA relationship I didn’t really see coming into play. Fans have known for a while now that Rose still has a lot of connections at CAA, which has closely linked the Knicks to many of their players, especially the big name ones. So far, this had often meant that we were told about the benefits of having a former CAA agent as the president of the team. But this is the first instance (at least that I can remember) in which it has been a negative and seemingly taken the team out of contention for a player’s services.
LaVine is a great player coming off of a strong season in which he averaged 24.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 4.2 APG, and pairing him up with Brunson would have been incredible considering just how much of the Knicks offensive woes he could have fixed instantly. But if he doesn’t want to be in New York, the Knicks should look elsewhere and with the LaVine saga and the draft behind them, they can, should, and likely will turn their focus to other stars.