Knicks acquire Derrick Rose from Pistons to reunite with Tom Thibodeau

Derrick Rose Knicks
Derrick Rose
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have acquired point guard Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons for Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second-round draft pick that was originally picked up from the Charlotte Hornets, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It provides a reunification for both the franchise and Thibodeau with Rose. The 32-year-old spent the 2016-17 season with the Knicks where he continued to solidify the notion that he can still contribute in the NBA despite injuries derailing a career that once had a Hall-of-Fame trajectory.

Rose was drafted first overall in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Kansas State by the Chicago Bulls where he quickly rose to the status of superstar. Thibodeau became his head coach in 2010-11, the same year Rose became the youngest player in NBA history to win the MVP award. 

In his first two years with Thibodeau as his head coach, Rose averaged 24 points and 7.8 assists per game. 

A torn ACL in 2013-14 set off a disastrous chain of injury events that saw him play in just 38% of Chicago’s games from 2013-2016.

In his lone season with the Knicks, Rose appeared in 64 games and averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists per game. 

After pit stops with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, Rose joined the Pistons for the 2019-20 season. In a combined 65 games, he posted 17.2 points and 5.2 assists per game. 

But with the Pistons going nowhere in terms of playoff contention and Rose’s contract expiring by season’s end, Detroit opted to get something in return for one of their top contributors. 

The obvious question will be how Thibodeau utilizes Rose in an already crowded point guard situation. Elfrid Payton has gotten a majority of the starts this season, but rookie Immanuel Quickley has electrified the Knicks organization off the bench, making a strong claim to be the starting point guard of the future. In 20 games, the No. 25 pick of the 2020 draft was averaging 12.4 points in 19 minutes per game prior to Sunday’s matinee with the Miami Heat.