TheÂ New York KnicksÂ were eliminated from postseason contention after the Atlanta Hawks displayed a stellar performance, winning the final three games of the series. Thanks to Trae Young, who was phenomenal all series long, averaging over 30 points per game and recording 36 in Wednesdayâ€™s victory, the Knicks will now head into the off-season with a laundry list of requirements.
Ultimately, they experienced several weak points that must be solved in free agency, as it is clear Julius Randle cannot handle the load of being a star. Despite Randle having his best season to date and earning his first All-Star appearance, he ultimately floundered in the postseason, shooting poorly and looking cautious in his approach.
However, one player that rose to the occasion was Derrick Rose, who suffered a few minor injuries that stopped head coach Tom Thibodeau from playing him in the fourth quarter.
Rose was in the final year of a two-year contract he previously signed with the Detroit Pistons before being traded to the Knicks this trade deadline.
The veteran point guard has an unsituated future but desires to return to the Knicks depending on their actions this off-season. Rose made it clear that he anticipates the Knicks’ front office will be active in free agency, looking to acquire a star player to pair with Randle.
â€œYou know how that goes, man, thatâ€™s not up to me,â€ Rose said. â€œThatâ€™s up to the front office. They got big plans. Who knows if I may be back. I donâ€™t know. Iâ€™m going to let my agent and them talk about it. But itâ€™s really not up to me at all. Weâ€™ll just leave it like that.
If the Knicks can retain Rose on a cheaper deal as a reserve point guard, it would be a home-run signing. His valiant effort this season should not go unnoticed, as he averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 assists, and shot .487 from the field. He was the only player that looked comfortable in the playoffs and helped keep the Knicks in games at times.
Rose stated that he would love to make a return to New York, and the Knicks can use as many passionate players as they can get, especially ones who make a significant impact on a daily basis.
â€œBut I would love to come back. Who wouldnâ€™t want to play for the Knicks or be in New York? I would love it, but at the same time, I know itâ€™s out of my hands, and they may have bigger plans.â€