New York Knicks: Landing Derrick Rose Was A Smart Move

Feb 21, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) brings the ball up court against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) brings the ball up court against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Knicks trading for Derrick Rose isn’t a bad move. In fact, it was quite the smart decision.

The New York Knicks have acquired former league MVP Derrick Rose in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant. New York also receives a 2017 second-round pick and swingman Justin Holiday.

Many fans are in an uproar about how this is a bad move; “Same old Knicks, overpaying for washed up stars,” and so forth. Let me explain why this is not such a bad trade, with the potential of becoming a very good trade.

The main concern with Rose, of course, is his history of injury. After his 2011 MVP season he tore his ACL, forcing him out of the 2012 playoffs and causing him to miss the entire 2013 season. He then returned for only 10 games before tearing the meniscus in his other knee and missing the remainder of that season.

Sounds bad, I know.

Since then, however, he has remained relatively healthy in his last 2 seasons, playing 51 and 66 games, respectively. Sure, he’s not going to go down as the Iron Man of the NBA, but he isn’t the pillar of weakness some people are making him out to be.

If he can contribute 66 healthy games to the Knicks, it could make a huge difference in their record.

Another issue is his seemingly dwindling statistics. While it’s true that his numbers are down from his first couple of season—and specifically his MVP season—he’s far from finished. Last season he, averaged 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.

Those aren’t mind-blowing statistics, but do you know who they are an improvement over? Basically any Knicks point guard in the last decade.

Rose still has the athletic ability to take it to the hole, something the Knicks have been severely lacking for years. Also keep in mind, the Bulls were a disaster last year. They brought in a new coach, there were issues with style of play, management, and coaching, and Rose clashed with Jimmy Butler.

Everyone on the Bulls looked bad, so there’s a good chance we’ll see an improved and newly motivated Derrick Rose playing under the lights of the Garden this year.

Ideally, he rebounds and looks more like the Derrick Rose of old than the shadow of himself he has become. Even if that does not happen, however, it’s really not that bad of a deal. Rose is in the final year of his contract.

If he fails to perform or is injury-plagued, New York can cut him and will have a ton of salary cap room to sign another point guard (hello Russell Westbrook).

One other thing this does is it brings another big name to New York. Do you think it was a coincidence that this move was made right before the draft and a week before free agency begins? It’s to let other NBA stars know that New York has another star and is ready to win now.

A core of Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Derrick Rose is enough to make players want to play in New York. Even if he doesn’t turn the team around, he very well could help bring in someone who does.

At the end of the day, it’s not a bad deal at all. The Knicks get to kick the tires on a former great in hopes that he can resuscitate his career with a change of scenery. What else were the Knicks going to do at point guard? Stand pat? Overpay an also injury-prone Mike Conley or Rajon Rondo?

I will admit I didn’t like seeing Jerian Grant leave. That’s the only part of this trade I didn’t like, but it’s a risk worth taking.

The Knicks are a team stuck in the middle of opposing timelines with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. This move is a rare chance to win now that also doesn’t hamstring the club for the future.

Best case: Rose comes aboard and plays well, lures in other stars, and helps New York instantly return to contention in a weak Eastern Conference.

must read: Free agent shooting guards who would complement Derrick Rose

Worst case: He gets hurt again and the Knicks let him walk in 2017, thus freeing up cap space to continue the rebuild around Porzingis. It’s a win-win.