You might remember back in the 2016-17 season, Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks traded Jerian Grant, Jose Calderon, and Robin Lopez to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for none other than Derrick Rose.
With Rose came some concern, in part because he was due to become a free agent after that season and may have demanded a less than team-generous contract, which would have put New York in the hole for a point guard with bad knees.
Let us not forget, too, that he was linked to a sexual assault case in 2015 which, naturally, attracted a lot of press surrounding the situation.
That said, the trade for Rose then was, all in all, a bad idea. He had played 66 games with the Bulls the previous season, his most since 2010-11, and he’d lost a step in his play.
Not to mention, midway through that season, Rose pulled his best Houdini and straight up disappeared without a trace, which sparked some chaos among the entire franchise, including its fanbase. I’d also like to mention that Rose had the audacity to call the Knicks, who were barely close to relevance, a super team.
That was then
Rose, strictly from a basketball perspective, has changed a whole lot since his time in New York. He’s taken the back seat on just about every team he’s been on since that trade, and has settled into a role he’s comfortable with being: a veteran role player/mentor.
One of the more touching moments with Rose came during his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he was reunited with Tom Thibodeau, and he had a career night in an exceptional win.
Rose has dealt with some nasty injuries in his career, and he’s still managed to hold a job in the league in spite of that. He’s no longer an MVP caliber athlete, but that’s what makes his willingness to adapt to the changes in his career so admirable.
This is now
Four years later, the Knicks have traded for Rose once again, sending Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second round pick from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange.
Rose joins forces with Thibodeau for the third time in his NBA career, and slots into a guard rotation that, to this day, is still a head scratcher.
While his past transgressions won’t be forgotten by most, I have a feeling things will be a lot different this time around. Purely because Thibodeau is the Head Coach of the team, I suspect Rose is less bothered by the situation with the team now. These two have a long history together, and that bodes well for another run with Rose.
Yet, there are also some concerns to consider with this trade.
Who gets the kibosh?
Rose has played 15 games this season, all with the Detroit Pistons. He’s sat out of games for rest purposes, an understandable gesture given his injury history.
Though, that was with a struggling Detroit team that has yet to eclipse a double digit win total. The Knicks, as of now, seem to be fighting for a playoff or play-in spot in an Eastern Conference that seems… broken.
Smith was not getting rotation minutes whatsoever here, so sending him to a team that will need his services at the moment was a good move on the Knicks’ end. But now, the Knicks are left with Elfrid Payton, Rose, Immanuel Quickley, and Frank Ntilikina, the latter of which has also been removed from the rotation.
When our own Fritz Alcindor proposed the Knicks pursue a point guard, I don’t think he meant the Knicks should go after a veteran who might eat into the younger guys’ playing time.
That stands as, perhaps, the most concerning aspect of this trade. Entrusting a 32-year-old Rose with a lot of minutes does not appeal to the agenda the Knicks should be following at this moment.
As is, the fans have to deal with Payton taking time away from Quickley, a rookie who has shown he is ready for this NBA life. Planting Rose somewhere in there creates disorder, and most likely for Quickley.
The hope from some fans, I’ve seen, is Rose eats into Payton and Austin Rivers’ minutes more than Quickley. If I had to side with anyone, it’s the people who support that argument. Payton and Rivers are not too dissimilar from Rose, but at least Rose averages more assists.
This wasn’t the best trade the Knicks could have made, but it cleared up concerns regarding anything Dennis Smith Jr. related. The unfortunate part, now, is whether or not Rose ruins the balance of the guard rotation, which he very well might.
Again, I don’t think Rose will suddenly propel us into a better playoff situation, so the timing of this trade is pretty weird.
But, there is also the possibility that this trade is part of some grand scheme to tidy up the guard rotation, there just hasn’t been any indication of that yet.
As of now, Rose is a Knick again, and we’ll simply have to wait and see what becomes of the situation.