With one less point guard in the upcoming free agency, New York Knicks playmaker Derrick Rose has an amazing opportunity.
No plan is ever foolproof. No matter how much you want something, and no matter how confident you are in acquiring it, nothing is ever guaranteed. For New York Knicks fans, this comes in the form of Russell Westbrook.
On Wednesday, August 3, Westbrook agreed to a contract extension worth roughly $85 million with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
New Yorkers tend to get ahead of themselves when it comes to free agency, especially regarding high-profile players. The common narrative over the past few months was that the Knicks would sign either Chris Paul or Russell Westbrook at season’s end.
In turn, New York would put a dynamic point guard next to Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, thus creating a super team—the likes of which New York has never seen.
Like I said, no plan is ever foolproof.
While Paul will still be a free agent at the end of the season, having one less point guard to compete with for suitors plays strongly into his favor. Working against him is the fact that he’s on the wrong side of 30.
For a Knicks team that already has an aging superstar, you have to wonder if it’s really worth it.
If the Knicks thought it would be tough to sign him when Westbrook was on the market, it just got harder.
All of this bodes well for Derrick Rose.
Rose will be a free agent at the end of this season, as well, which shines the spotlight on him even brighter. While he has a long list of injuries and question marks surrounding him, he still plays the most sought after position in the modernNBA.
For all he’s been through, Rose is still an athletic point guard who can score.
The demand for an oft-injured former MVP who plays point guard would have been slim to moderate, but with Westbrook off the market, there are slim pickings.
The list of free agent point guards includes the aforementioned Paul, along with reigning two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who realistically isn’t leaving Oakland.
Then there’s Kyle Lowry, who has a player option with the Toronto Raptors. With a young team and an ownership intent on keeping its stars, he’s unlikely to be going anywhere, either.
That leaves Jeff Teague and another oft-injured point guard, Jrue Holiday, as the only other high-profile point guards that may switch teams. While they’re talented players, compared to a healthy Derrick Rose, there’s no question who would be more sought after.
This leaves Rose with a prime opportunity. If he can somehow regain the form he had a few years ago, or close to it, the next contract he gets could be enormous—and the ever rising NBA cap helps.
Now what would that mean for Knicks fans? Well, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that this leaves Derick Rose with even more motivation to have a renaissance in The Big Apple.
Playing in the Mecca of Basketball comes with more people watching you, and if he can lead the Knicks to a playoff berth, or even keep them in championship contention, his star would skyrocket through the stratosphere.
The bad news is that the Knicks may be without a point guard yet again in the offseason depending on how much they’re willing to pay. With Anthony on the wrong side of 30, and not knowing how much longer he has in his prime, that leaves the Knicks in win-now mode.
If the Knicks lose Rose and strike out on Paul, that would leave them in a sticky situation.
This coming season will be an important one for the Knicks, as people want to see if this team looks as good on the court as it does on paper. For Derrick Rose, though, it could be the chance to establish himself as one of the NBA’s elite point guards once again.
With more teams focusing on him this year, the Knicks must hope he is able to shoulder the load.
The opportunity is there for Rose— he just has to be healthy and productive enough to seize it.