When the New York Knicks acquired Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons at the trade deadline, most didn’t imagine he would be this productive and efficient. Well, maybe one person expected this, head coach Tom Thibodeau. While Rose is averaging fewer points with the Knicks than he was with Detroit this season, he has made a significant impact off the court as well.
Rose has mentored rookie Immanuel Quickley and even offered second-year rising star RJ Barrett a few tips along the way. In fact, some of the youngsters are mesmerized by his presence alone, as they grew up watching him at the NBA level dominating on a nightly basis.
“We all grew up watching D-Rose,” Barrett said Tuesday on a Zoom media session. “We grew up watching his highlights.”
Rose has been one of the main reasons the Knicks have been playing so well as of late, utilizing his tremendous court vision and ability to score on a whim to help fuel a recent nine-game winning streak. While the team did fall to the Phoenix Suns, they remained competitive throughout the game, and thanks to a few late Chris Paul magical moments, Phoenix emerge victorious, snapping a two-game losing streak of their own.
Nonetheless, Rose impressed once again, posting 22 points in the loss, shooting 10-of-18, and recording six assists.
“To see how he’s playing now, especially the past week or so, it just shows you how great he is. This is like Year 12 for him and he’s still out there getting 20 points, 5 assists, 6 rebounds, still out there doing everything on the court. Hustling, doing everything,” Barrett said. “To see where he started and what he’s had to overcome in his career, it’s amazing.”
Barrett is right, Rose has been working extremely hard and pushing his body to the limits, which is something he experienced in the past with Thibodeau. While Derrick isn’t starting each game, he’s earning the most minutes of any point guard on the team, so he might as well be considered their starter.
Rose is playing so well, the Knicks should seriously consider extending him for an additional season. He is currently on a two-year, $15 million deal, which he signed with the Detroit Pistons in 2019. President Leon Rose might be able to keep him around for a fraction of that cost, maybe at $5 million for the 2022 campaign. Considering the value he’s brought and the mentorship he’s offered the youngsters, I would imagine this would be an easy decision for management if he’s willing to settle for one more season.