Shortly after the New York Knicks suffered a tough 109-103 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday, help is on the way.
The Detroit Pistons have agreed to send former NBA MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second-round pick (via Charlotte Hornets).
Reunion and Redemption
Rose will be reunited with Tom Thibodeau, who made him the league’s youngest MVP 10 years ago in Chicago.
The trade will also provide Rose a chance to make up for his controversy-filled one-season stint with the Knicks in 2016. On top of his playoff experience, Rose is also expected to take Knicks’ quick-rising rookie guard Immanuel Quickley under his wing.
Thibodeau also coached Rose in Minnesota in 2018, helping resurrect his career as a sixth man.
Smith joins Pistons’ youth movement
Meanwhile, the Pistons hope that a change of scenery will help resurrect Smith Jr.’s flailing career. The former ninth overall pick was the central piece in the Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster trade.
Smith Jr. has requested the Knicks to send him to the G League after only seeing nine minutes this season. Smith is expected to leave the G League Bubble and join the Pistons’ youth movement.
With the worst record (5-18) in the league, the Pistons have pivoted to rebuilding.
The Pistons, under new general manager Troy Weaver, was also able to squeeze a second-round pick in next year’s Draft, which is viewed as one of the deepest class in years.
$15 million cap space left
Despite the Knicks tumbling to 11-14 after Sunday’s loss to the Heat, they are still in the playoff hunt, momentarily occupying the Eastern Conference’s seventh spot.
Rose is averaging 14.2 points and 4.2 assists in 15 games this season. The Knicks will also acquire Rose’s Bird rights giving them the advantage to re-sign him in the offseason.
With $17 million in cap space, the Knicks will absorb the remainder of Rose’s $7.5 million salary this season. After sending out Smith Jr.’s. $5.6 million salary, the Knicks will still have around $15 million in cap space for future moves as the trade deadline nears.
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