The Knicks addressed their need for a point guard and acquired former NBA MVP and No. 1 overall pick Derrick Rose in a blockbuster deal with the Bulls on Wednesday.
They sent Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant to the Bulls for Rose, shooting guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick. Rose has had an injury-plagued history, but he’s only 27 and is in the final year of his contract.
“This is an exciting day for New York and our fans,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said in a statement. “Derrick is one of the top point guards in the NBA who is playoff-battle-tested. He adds a whole new dynamic to our roster and immediately elevates our backcourt.”
Knicks president Phil Jackson has wanted to upgrade the point guard position and Rose does that, provided he can stay healthy long enough to help the Knicks end a three-year playoff drought.
Rose is an explosive player and can get to the basket against anyone, but injuries have slowed him the last several years.
He’s missed 162 games the past five years, including one full season, after tearing his left ACL, and needing subsequent surgeries on both knees.
Rose appeared in 66 games last season — his most since his 2010-11 MVP campaign — and averaged 16.4 points and 4.7 assists. He is owed $21 million in the final year of his contract.
Pairing Rose with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis gives the Knicks more weapons offensively, whether they’re in the triangle or playing pick-and-roll that Hornacek is expected to integrate into the system.
The former University of Memphis standout has career averages of 19.7 points and 6.2 assists. He led the Bulls to the 62-20 record and a berth into the Eastern Conference finals during his MVP season.
The point guard position has been a major weakness for the Knicks over the years, and especially recently.
Calderon, 34, is a consummate professional, but injuries slowed him his first season with the Knicks and he became unpopular with the fans from the outset. He was a defensively liability since the Knicks acquired him from Dallas two summers ago in the Tyson Chandler trade. Calderon had trouble sticking with quicker guards in what has become a point-guard dominated league. He averaged 8.1 points and 4.4 assists in parts of two seasons with the Knicks.
Lopez was the Knicks’ big free-agent signing last summer, and had a good season. He averaged 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.57 blocks.
By dealing Lopez, the Knicks could pursue a big man in free agency. Pau Gasol is available and played for Jackson when both were with the Lakers. Other possibilities include Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard, who ESPN.com reported has interest in the Knicks.
The Knicks also could play Porzingis at center with Anthony at power forward. Hornacek favors playing smaller and quicker. But the Knicks need to address other areas. They need a shooting guard and other versatile perimeter players.
The Knicks acquired Grant in last year’s draft. He was considered the point guard of the future, but he struggled playing the triangle offense. He was considered someone who would do well in Hornacek’s system. Grant averaged 5.6 points and 2.3 assists over 16.6 minutes as a rookie.
Holiday averaged 4.5 points for the Hawks and Bulls last season. He has played with four teams in three NBA seasons.
The Knicks also announced that they waived Tony Wroten.