Derrick Rose dribbles ball

Derrick Rose trade does not improve the Knicks’ playoff chances

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The New York Knicks are close to a trade for Derrick Rose. The Pistons will receive draft compensation and Dennis Smith Jr in the deal.

At this point, with Shams Charania reporting the deal is near rather than complete, we do not have complete details on the return. The expectation is this will be for no more than a second round pick.

Rose returns to the Big Apple in different circumstances. He’s not the star to save the organization, and he’s not teaming up with Carmelo Anthony. This is a veteran helping an overachiever. Rose, of course, has history with Tom Thibodeau, too. Thibodeau got the best basketball out of Rose during their time together in Chicago. The desire to reunite is clear from both parties, and on a surface level, it makes sense given the Knicks’ subpar options at point guard.

With the Pistons deep in a rebuild, it was inevitable Rose would be traded this season. Detroit is prioritizing player development – Rose has not started in any of his 15 appearances. His minutes have dropped to 22.8 per game from 26 last season.

Rose doesn’t solve the Knicks’ point guard problems entirely. He’s an upgrade on Elfrid Payton, but a career 30% three-point shooter, who is at just 4.1 attempts per 36 from deep this season, does not fix their lack of shooting. The Knicks are 24th in three-point percentage and rank 27th in percentage of their shots from beyond the arc. Rose is an improvement over Payton as a playmaker and scorer, though Thibodeau already has veteran guards in Austin Rivers and Alec Burks.


This trade is fun. Rose is a much-loved player with a chance at redemption at Madison Square Garden. The cost is likely minimal given Smith Jr’s demise.

It’s not a trade which changes all that much for the Knicks, though. There are naturally questions about how this impacts Immanuel Quickley‘s minutes. Rose doesn’t address many, if any, of their weaknesses. Perhaps, though, it’s just good to have some excitement again. Maybe the Knicks are better with Rose, and maybe it helps end their playoff drought.

For the deep rebuilding Pistons, this is fine. Smith was a high draft pick, who retains upside. Getting any draft pick is good. Losing Rose doesn’t change much for them, but if it helps lock them in to the best lottery odds for Cade Cunningham, that can’t be a bad thing.

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