The New York Knicks became an instant contender in the Eastern Conference after striking a blockbuster deal with the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. While recent NBA rumors have already revealed the Bulls were shopping Derrick Rose, fans were still surprised Chicago opted to trade their former Most Valuable Player.
The Knicks acquired Rose along with Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon. While the trade looks risky for the Knicks considering Rose’s recent battles with multitude of injuries, the deal made New York an attractive destination for free agents this summer.
Kevin Durant to New York Knicks
Durant is the biggest fish on the market this summer. Most teams are expected to make a run at the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar, but the Knicks can now be lined up among the favorites to land the former MVP. Knicks president Phil Jackson has already informed Rose and company that they will aggressively chase Durant, ESPN reported.
It remains to be seen, though, whether Rose’s arrival will be enough to pry Durant, who is also reportedly intrigued of prized prospect Kristaps Porzingis. From the looks of it, the Golden State Warriors are still the frontrunners in the race to sign Durant, while the Thunder still have the inside track, money-wise.
Pau Gasol to New York Knicks
Pau Gasol will also become an unrestricted free agent this summer and will likely leave the Bulls. The 35-year-old wants to play for a contender, and moving to the Knicks will be a logical move for the Spaniard. Gasol had his best days playing under the triangle offense in Los Angeles, while the Knicks need an inside presence to make Porzingis a bigger threat down low.
Dwight Howard to New York Knicks
Dwight Howard will likely leave the Houston Rockets after another tumultuous year playing alongside James Harden. The mercurial center is expected to consider moving to New York. It is also not a secret Howard wanted the Lakers to hire Phil Jackson in 2012 before Los Angeles settled for Mike D’Antoni. While Jackson is not coaching anymore, his presence is still greatly felt within the organization. Howard can revive his struggling career with a move to New York.
Joakim Noah to New York Knicks
Bulls fans are also preparing to say goodbye to Noah, who has spent his entire nine-year career in Windy City. Recent NBA rumors revealed the Minnesota Timberwolves, particularly head coach Tom Thibodeau, are eyeing a deal for Noah. Minnesota remains the most likely destination for Noah, but Rose could use his influence and convince the veteran center to join him in the Big Apple. It could be a battle between Thibs and Rose when free agency begins in July.