Was DeRozan Knicks’ Key To Landing Lillard In Major Trade?

Damian Lillard, New York Knicks, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

There was sentiment after the 2021-22 regular season surrounding the New York Knicks that perhaps Julius Randle was the franchise-cornerstone the franchise has sought in recent years. After earning an All-NBA Second-Team nod, it’s clear he isn’t a No. 1 option on a highly successful team.

Had the Knicks been more aggressive in their pursuit of a potential star acquisition in the offseason, perhaps they could have formed an intriguing threat in the Eastern Conference. Among the options available to many teams was DeMar DeRozan, but many teams whiffed not making a more aggressive push.

According to Marc Berman of New York Post, the New York Knicks’ chances of pulling off a trade for Damian Lillard “would have improved” had the team signed DeMar DeRozan in free agency. Both players are friends and share representation.

“One source said New York’s chances of trading for Lillard would have improved had they signed DeMar DeRozan in the offseason. DeRozan is having an All-Star season for the Chicago Bulls. Lillard and DeRozan are friends and share the same agent.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: NBA Exec Weighs In On Knicks’ Outlook For Star Trade

Fast forward to today, the Chicago Bulls are among the top teams in the Eastern Conference large in part due to an incredible season from DeMar DeRozan. He’s made a habit out of dropping 30-point outings while leading the team consistently in the clutch.

There’s a lot that remains to be determined about Damian Lillard’s situation with the Portland Trail Blazers. Right now, he is sidelined for what is expected to be the remainder of a “lost year” after abdominal surgery. The Blazers have opened up a lot of flexibility to re-tool around him in the offseason.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: NBA Exec Weighs In On Knicks’ Outlook For Star Trade

The New York Knicks seem to have something special developing with RJ Barrett as he’s seemingly improved every month throughout this season. Julius Randle has been up and down at times, but again, the point guard position remains a key area to address.

About Grant Afseth 1199 Articles
Grant Afseth is an NBA reporter for NBA Analysis Network and Dallas Mavericks reporter for DallasBasketball.com. He previously covered the Indiana Pacers and NBA for CNHI's Kokomo Tribune and various NBA teams for USA TODAY Sports Media Group. Follow him on Twitter (@grantafseth), Facebook (@grantgafseth), and YouTube (@grantafseth).