The Knicks were quiet on draft night and finished Thursday without a first-round pick for a second straight year. It left the summer trade market as the next important business for team president Leon Rose, but one potential star target should probably be crossed off the list.
Zach LaVine’s representatives would be against a deal to the Knicks, the Daily News has learned. The Bulls are reportedly gauging interest in the All-Star guard, which prompted speculation that the Knicks — who are strapped with future draft assets — would get involved. But a source said the LaVine camp isn’t interested in dealing with the Knicks, who have a reputation around the league of favoring clients of CAA, the agency that employed Leon Rose before his move to the Knicks front office.
Of course, the Knicks don’t need such approval to make a trade. But landmines are set and often detonated under those circumstances.
LaVine, 28, a two-time All-Star who averaged 24.8 points last season, has four years and $178 million remaining on his contract. He’s represented by power agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.
The Knicks had an opportunity for four first-round picks in Thursday’s draft and ended up with zero. It underscored the issue with the protected picks that Rose accumulated. Three of them — Detroit’s, Washington’s and Dallas’s — didn’t convey to the Knicks, who dealt their own first rounder to the Blazers for Josh Hart.
Free agency officially begins in July with an opportunity for Rose to upgrade the roster via trade. The Knicks were reportedly involved in negotiations with the Wizards for Bradley Beal, who ultimately chose Phoenix and waived his no-trade clause to form a Big-3 with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. A source shot down another rumor Thursday, saying “there was nothing to” the reported talks between the Knicks and Clippers for Paul George. The L.A. Times reported the Knicks initiated the talks but reconsidered after internal discussions uncovered concerns over George’s age, contract and injury history.
Two players on the Knicks roster — Obi Toppin and Evan Fournier — are top trade candidates with no clear path to playing time in Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. Fournier stated he’d be surprised if he’s on the roster next season. A source said his representatives have been working to “get him somewhere else.”
Toppin’s future in New York looked bleaker after The Athletic reported on a heated argument with Thibodeau after a playoff loss in Miami.
Toppin is represented by CAA and the expectation is they’ll work to find him a better opportunity. Toppin and Fournier can be free agents in 2024.
Other big names who may hit the trade market this summer include Zion Williamson and Karl-Anthony Towns. Both are CAA clients.
Source: Berkshire mont