The New York Knicks have a bevy of decisions to make this off-season, and one important choice revolves around veteran point guard Derrick Rose. When President Leon Rose traded for Rose from the Detroit Pistons, he didnâ€™t imagine the impact the three-time All-Star would have in helping the Knicks reach the postseason.
Having played a secondary role with Detroit, Rose elevated the entire next roster, providing offense and mentorship for youngsters like Immanuel Quickley.
Quickley grew up watching Rose play in the NBA, starting his career in 2008 and looking to continue coming off a stellar campaign that should award him a multi-year deal.
Rose is coming off a two-year, $15 million deal, averaging $7.5 million per season. However, he elevated his game enough to earn more, possibly upwards of $12 million per season. The question is, should the Knicks offer him a sizable extension or spend that money on a bonafide star who can handle a full season’s workload.
You could make the argument that Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, and Rose are incapable of playing 35+ minutes on an everyday basis without suffering an injury. Over a 72 game season, Rose played in 50 games last year, averaging 25.6 minutes. Paul, on the other hand, averaged 31.4 minutes over 70 games, showcasing a bit more resiliency toward father time.
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Rose currently sits in an estranged position, as he canâ€™t feature as a primary starter but shouldnâ€™t be considered a bench player either. What might be a more suitable situation for the veteran is pairing him with a young PG like Lonzo Ball or Dennis Schroder (would prefer Ball over Schroder personally), as they can split time and mitigate fatigue. This idea shouldnâ€™t deter the Knicks from utilizing their draft capital to find a PG as well, possibly someone like Tre Mann out of Florida.
Of course, bringing back Rose would be beneficial for head coach Tom Thibodeau, who relied on him heavily as a leader and consistent player during the latter portion of the season. The two have spent time together in Chicago, Minnesota, and now New York, meaning they have a clear connection, which is valuable.
As Rose prepares to turn 33 years old, there is no doubt that his physical form will begin to degrade at some point, if it hasnâ€™t already. That doesnâ€™t mean he canâ€™t be an adequate player that contributes in a significant way. We know he is capable of scoring efficiently, considering he posted a career-high .411% from three-point range last year over 2.6 attempts per game. He also connected on .487 of his shots over 35 games with the Knicks.
With $50+ million in funds available, offering D-Rose a one-year, $12 million deal might get the job done, but it would slash a significant portion of their salary space to land a star and another key contributor. Nonetheless, it is apparent that Thibodeau knows how to put together a winning team, even if they lack a few complementary pieces. The expectation is that RJ Barrett will take another step forward, and Quickly/Obi Toppin will also be more productive with their minutes.
As long as the Knicks can find a player to pair with Julius Randle and get the most out of their youngsters, they could take a step forward during the 2021-22 season, and Derrick Rose would undoubtedly play a key factor in their success.