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Derrick Rose Free Agent Profile

Derrick Rose heads to NBA Free Agency after Knicks option is not picked up

To not much surprise, the New York Knicks will reportedly decline their $15.6 million option on Derrick Rose’s contract. The 2010-11 NBA MVP will enter the market this summer as an unrestricted free agent. Rose fell out of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation last year and appeared in just one game after Dec. 31. Despite this, Rose impacted the team as a great locker room presence and veteran voice. A beloved figure, Rose received a standing ovation from the home crowd when he checked into the final minutes of a blowout Knicks playoff game in April.

Derrick Rose Free Agent Profile


The Chicago Bulls drafted Rose, a Chicago native, with the first overall pick in the 2008 draft. In the 2008-09 season, Rose averaged 16.8 points on 47.5 percent field goal shooting, 3.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists (which led all rookies) per game. His success resulted in a Rookie of the Year win and an NBA All-Rookie First Team honor.

All of Rose’s three career All-Star seasons came over the next three years. He looked like he was on pace to become one of the best point guards in NBA history. In his first four seasons, Rose averaged 21 points and 6.8 assists a game in 279 games.

However, Rose’s legacy might be most associated with the phrase “what could have been”. Rose never truly recovered from injuries, most notably an ACL tear in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.

The 2015-16 marked the final season in Chicago for Rose. Since then, he has bounced around the league. However, he has spent the past three years with Thibodeau, his coach with the Bulls, in New York.


Rose can have value for a winning team as a backup point guard. In 2021-22, Rose averaged 26.8 minutes, 12 points, and four assists per game. He started 4 of 26 games but shot 40.2 percent from three with a 44.5 percent field goal percentage.

In the playoffs one year earlier, Rose averaged 35 minutes, 19.4 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. Rose had a bigger role on that team than he did on last year’s Knicks squad. His numbers last year were significantly down across the board. However, it’s possible that he just didn’t fit that well with how the roster was constructed.

As Knicks coach, Thibodeau has occasionally confused fans and media by just not playing certain players for long stretches. Perhaps Rose was a victim of this and could have played well if given the chance.

Rose doesn’t seem to be retiring any time soon. The 14-year-vet told Marc Spears that he has more in his tank. Perhaps a new team will allow Rose to showcase that.

Additionally, Rose provides great value in the locker room. The Knicks could have cut or traded him rather than waste a roster spot on a guy the coach never played. Instead, Thibodeau and the front office valued his leadership and guidance on an unlikely winning team with young, high-level players. Rose no doubt showed teammates what it takes to win in the NBA and how to continue winning for an entire year. Many expected the Knicks, a team not expected to win much, to fade eventually. Rose should get some credit for what appears to be a winning culture established at the Garden.


Next season will be Rose’s age 35 season. His age and injuries have taken much of his athleticism away. Last year, Rose averaged 5.6 points and 12.5 minutes, both career lows, in 27 games with a .384/.302/.917 shooting line. It’s very possible that Rose is finished.

Potential Fits

A reunion with the Bulls could make sense. Chicago could sign Rose and decide to make one last push to win with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. The Bulls expect to lose guards Pat Beverly and Coby White in free agency and Lonzo Ball for the foreseeable future to injury.

Chicago needs the on-ball playmaking ability Rose can offer. That skill is even more important when Lavine and DeRozan are off the court. Rose would also benefit the development of Ayo Dosunmu.

After missing out on Chris Paul, The Los Angeles Lakers could pivot to Rose to fill the veteran backup point guard role. Rose would be an inexpensive ball-handler off the bench that takes some pressure off LeBron James. He might not be the best player available, but Rose fits this team as a great depth piece. Even if he plays just 15 minutes a game, he’s the type of veteran that fits James and fills out the Lakers roster.

Lastly, the Milwaukee Bucks discussed trading for Rose at the deadline last year. No deal came to fruition and the Bucks pivoted to Jae Crowder. Crowder struggled in Milwaukee and was dropped from the rotation in the playoffs.

Additionally, new coach Adrian Griffin coached on Thibodeau’s staff while Rose was still in Chicago. His first year coincided with Rose’s MVP season. The Bucks won’t have much to spend this offseason, especially if the team re-signs Khris Middleton. Rose could provide great value and also enjoy playing for a legitimate contender.

Derrick Rose will be an interesting free agent to watch this summer.


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