The New York Knicks damn-near broke the Internet Wednesday afternoon when they acquired former NBA MVP and No. 1 overall pick Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls. Not only did they get a much-needed upgrade at the point guard position, they got him for pennies on the dollar.
New York sent Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez to Chicago for Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round draft pick. First off, shout out to Knicks president Phil Jackson a.k.a. Charlie Hustle, who got on the phone with Bulls general manager Gar Forman and was like, “I’m gonna throw you a journeyman, an unproven second-year dude and the real-life incarnation of Sideshow Bob, and you’re gonna give me Derrick Rose… And Justin Holiday… Oh, and throw in a draft pick, too.” Forman should’ve hit Jackson with the “new phone, who dis?” message after such an insane proposal, but instead accepted the deal. The Zen Master must have some special powers we don’t know about.
After an injury bug took a huge bite out of Rose’s knees, he’s yet to return to the 2010-11 form that saw him wreak havoc on opposing defenses by speeding coast-to-coast with the force of a freight train on his way to winning MVP. But he’s still just 27 and in the final year of his contract, giving him extra incentive to prove that he’s worthy of a huge deal in the summer of 2017, when the salary cap will increase to an all-time high. Provided Rose can stay healthy next season, putting him next to Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis should be able to help New York end a three-year playoff drought.
“For New York, I think they have to be excited,” Antonio Davis said on Off The Dribble. “They’re constantly building something now that they can work with and hopefully bring some wins to that city. Man, they need it. They need it.”
Not everyone is as optimistic, especially considering we don’t know if Rose and Anthony can coexist.
“You have two huge names, you have Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose on the same team,” Tom Byrne said. “You have people looking at the East, I’m sure we’ll take phone calls saying, ‘The Knicks are the second-best team in the East already!’ Well, what are we getting when you get a Derrick Rose? Are you getting a middle-of-the-pack point guard?”
Chicago trading Rose for a bag of peanuts says a lot; it shows they don’t believe he can return to form. It also shows there was no better deal out there, meaning the Bulls just settled for whatever they could get.
“It shows how little he was valued around the league in my estimation,” Justin Termine said on NBA Today. “It also shows how desperate, absolutely desperate, Chicago was to rid themselves not of his contract because he’s only got one year left, but of his play and more importantly, his attitude.”
Rose would likely have to adjust his game to fit in with the Knicks. He won’t be relied upon to shoulder the scoring load while playing alongside Anthony and Porzingis. If he can up his assists and take some pressure off his teammates, the Knicks should be competitive in the East.
“Can he be a facilitator?” Eddie Johnson asked. “Can he be that guy that can morph into what I said he should be, not that athletic marvel but a guy that can just play on the floor, run his team and just play a role?”
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