Report: Pistons, Knicks nearing deal on Derrick Rose for Dennis Smith Jr, draft pick

Alder Almo
New York Knicks, Derrick Rose
Jan 28, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose (25) goes up for a shot during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Will the third time be a charm?

Ten years removed from becoming the league’s youngest MVP, Derrick Rose is nearing full circle with the man who made him such.

Rose is set for a third reunion with Tom Thibodeau as the New York Knicks are close to re-acquiring him, according to multiple reports.

Dennis Smith Jr., instead of Frank Ntilikina, whose name was first floated Sunday night, will be the key piece in the reported swap.

The Detroit Pistons are seeking additional draft compensation. But it will likely be a future second-round pick, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Rose, 32, will return to New York no longer viewed as a savior, unlike in his first stint in the 2016-17 season that ended in an ugly divorce. But at the minimum, he is expected to bring a scoring punch off the bench and mentor the Knicks’ quick-rising rookie guard Immanuel Quickley.

Change of scenery

Meanwhile, the Pistons hope that a change of scenery will help resurrect Smith Jr., a former ninth overall pick and the integral 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. If the trade is consummated, he 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.

Rose fits Knicks short-term goal

The Knicks, on the other hand, are in the playoff hunt after a surprisingly strong start under Thibodeau.

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 can 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 as the trade deadline nears.

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