The Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks are both some teams that need to make some changes to their roster. The Bulls flamed out in the first round after being touted as contenders for a good portion of the season, while the Knicks missed the playoffs despite being the No. 4 seed during the 2020-21 season.
Perhaps the two teams could come together and make a trade. Both the Bulls and the Knicks had players that underperformed in Nikola Vucevic and Julius Randle. Perhaps they could exchange those two players for one another. Here is our potential trade scenario.
New York Knicks Receive: Nikola Vucevic
Chicago Bulls Receive: Julius Randle
New York Knicks Clear A Lot Of Salary And Get A Veteran Leader
For the New York Knicks, getting Nikola Vucevic is basically about moving Julius Randle's long-term contract from their books. Even though he was the No. 1 offensive option during their 2020-21 playoff appearance, Julius Randle has not managed to recreate that sort of play during the 2021-22 season.
Nikola Vucevic's contract will expire at the end of the 2022-23 season, and perhaps the New York Knicks could make another trade at the deadline to move the center for some assets. If the Knicks do want to keep Nikola Vucevic, though, he could serve as a fantastic sixth man for the team. While Vucevic is still a starting center, he would likely come off the bench as the Knicks would probably prioritize the development of Mitchell Robinson.
Overall, this trade would help the New York Knicks from a financial flexibility standpoint. Julius Randle has shown that he is unable to consistently be an All-NBA caliber player this past season, and perhaps it's time for the franchise to move on.
Chicago Bulls Take A Chance On A Former All-Star In His Prime
Julius Randle did not have a good season with the New York Knicks whatsoever: he seemingly got worse in every possible category. However, that doesn't mean that Julius Randle won't be able to bounce back: players have down years, and we've seen players have ups and downs during their careers in the past.
In this scenario, the Chicago Bulls would be taking a chance on Julius Randle. It is clear that Nikola Vucevic isn't the answer for them, and he was notably very poor throughout the regular season. However, Julius Randle could potentially give them a capable No. 3 next to DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. Randle can rebound, finish near the rim, and pass while also possessing some floor spacing ability.
Julius Randle might not become an All-NBA player again. But if he trends just a little bit in that direction, this trade will be a win for the Chicago Bulls. They would be getting a very good power forward who is currently in his prime at 27 years old. While obviously, it would be a risk for them, perhaps this could be a way to help the team increase its ceiling while moving on from an aging center.
This Trade Makes Sense For Both Teams
Both teams would be gaining something out of this deal. The New York Knicks would be able to move on from a disappointing player in Julius Randle and clear his contract, while the Chicago Bulls would be taking a chance on Randle in the hopes that he become better going forward.
Hopefully, we see the two teams try to figure out a deal with this framework. Both sides have a lot to gain, and we'll see what sort of move or moves each team makes going forward.