According to NBA insiders Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. The trade for Rose sends Dennis Smith Jr and a 2021 second-round pick to Detroit. It appears the Knicks finally have acquired a legitimate point guard. Does this improve their team? Let us explore this trade from the Knicks perspective.
Analyzing the New York Knicks Trade for Derrick Rose
How Did the Derrick Rose Trade Come About?
This deal came together relatively quickly after Derrick Rose and the Detroit Pistons mutually agreed that a trade would be best for Rose. This is due to the Pistons rebuilding, and Rose who is still productive, needing a better situation for the later stage of his career. This trade made sense for both sides. Detroit can get some capital in return for a veteran on the last year of his deal, and Rose can help a team slightly further along in competing. Thus paving the way for the Knicks re-uniting Rose with his old coach Tom Thibodeau. New York will also feel a second-round pick and a player in Dennis Smith Jr. who was out of the rotation and never settled in is minimal compensation to give up for a talent upgrade.
How Does This Benefit the Knicks?
There are various factors working in the Knicks’ favor here. Primarily, Rose is reuniting with a coach he knows well and has performed best for. Most notably for the Chicago Bulls where he won the league MVP award in 2011. He adds a familiarity with Tom Thibodeau’s offense, and a veteran presence to help mentor their revelatory rookie Immanuel Quickley. New York has had issues at the point guard spot for an exceedingly long time. Arguably, the starting point guard spot has been the primary weakness to a surprisingly competitive team this year. Elfrid Payton has been largely unpopular in New York due to his offensive struggles for much of the season. He is averaging just 11 points 3 assists and 24% from the perimeter this year. Rose should be a considerable upgrade.
The Development of Immanuel Quickley
Quickley has been sensational in his rookie season. He’s attracted praise from two of the game’s best players in Damian Lillard and Paul George. With the latter describing his scoring abilities as “crazy.” Leading the second unit, Quickley lit up both these teams including scoring 31 points off the bench against the Portland Trailblazers and 25 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Therefore it’s imperative that this trade does not diminish the minutes of the revelatory Quickley. I would contend that Rose should lead the first unit and Quickley the second unit. This is the main aspect to the trade to watch out for, Rose should only be used as an upgrade to Payton and not to take minutes from Quickley.
New York Knicks Improvement
Knicks currently sit at a respectable 11-14 and are in contention for the last playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. I preface this by saying the Knicks still lack enough talent to seriously contend, but they clearly have improved this year. Much of their uptick is owed to Tom Thibodeau doing an incredible job coaching. For instance, under his leadership, the Knicks are one of the best defensive teams in the league. Currently, they rank sixth in defensive rating. A remarkable improvement from last season’s struggles.
This can also be attributed to the All-star caliber season of forward Julius Randle. He is in the conversation for Comeback Player of the year. Currently, he is averaging career highs in scoring (22.6); assists (5.9); and rebounding (10.9) playing the role of point forward. With his responsibilities on the offensive end, he and RJ Barrett are carrying an excessive load in minutes and scoring. In a starting lineup that lacks offense aside from those two names, Rose should ease their burden somewhat.
What Can Derrick Rose Bring?
Aside from providing an obvious scoring boost, he will also be able to space the floor and give Randle and others easier looks at the basket.
Another factor we should mention, he may also help develop their 8th Overall Pick Obi Toppin’s game. Toppin especially needs a point guard to bring the most out of his game. Toppin relies on the pick and roll to get quality looks at the basket as he does not currently create shots for himself off the dribble. He has struggled thus far to make much of an impression in limited minutes. I feel Rose’s ability to drive to the paint will help to create better looks for Toppin. Toppin and Quickley’s development is essential to this season more so than a playoff spot, which should be deemed a bonus. Rose is averaging a respectable 14 points and 4 assists per game with 42% shooting coming off the bench for the Pistons this season.
Personally, this is a no-brainer deal for the Knicks. While he is no longer the explosive MVP player he was back in Chicago, the trade for Derrick Rose is still an upgrade. Dennis Smith Jr. and a second-round pick is also fair compensation as Smith had no spot on the team.
Furthermore, if Rose proves a nice fit, the Knicks may even consider re-signing Rose at a discount next season.
Knicks fans may point to Rose’s struggles when he first came to New York back in 2016. I would argue he and the Knicks are better suited for each other at this juncture due to the reasons given. Also, the Knicks are among the bottom five teams in the league in points per game. Rose can help provide an uptick in scoring. As mentioned before, the key to the trade is to ensure this doesn’t harm Quickley’s minutes, and he helps to mentor their young talent on and off the court.
Also, the Knicks likely will not be done making moves this season. For instance, it is likely they explore the trade market for Payton. They also kept their main assets in case there are future trade opportunities.
This is a strong deal from the Knicks’ standpoint, they were in desperate need of an immediate upgrade at point guard. Plus, with the youngest roster in the league, they should benefit from Rose’s knowledge and experience.
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