D-Rose is returning to Gotham! The New York Knicks pulled the trigger on a trade with the Detroit Pistons that will send former MVP Derrick Rose back to NYC in exchange for Dennis Smith, Jr. and a second-round draft pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Rose, the former #1 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Memphis, averaged 14.2 ppg and 4.2 assists as Detroit’s Sixth Man this season. Over his career, Rose averaged 18.7 ppg and 5.6 assists. Rose has never been the same explosive player that he was before blowing out his ACL in the 2012 playoffs.
- New York Knicks Get: Derrick Rose
- Detroit Pistons Get: Dennis Smith, Jr. and 2021 Round-2 Draft Pick
Rose and Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau will reunite after the Detroit trade. The duo had two stints together with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. Under Thibs, Rose became the youngest player to win the MVP at 22-years old during the 2010-11 season. He edged out Wes Unseld, who previously held the record when he won the MVP with the Baltimore Bullets at age 23.
Rose returns to NYC after a disastrous season in 2016-17 spent trying to learn Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. He averaged 18 ppg in his lone season with the Knicks.
Knicks Ditch D-Smith After Unicorn Trade Bust
Dennis Smith Jr., the ninth overall pick out of North Carolina State, looked like the steal of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. During an auspicious rookie season in 2017-18, Smith started 69 games, averaging 15.2 ppg and 5.2 assists for the Mavs.
Once Luka Doncic arrived, Smith began to struggle. The Slovenian wunderkind took over as the starting point guard and the offense ran through Doncic, while Smith struggled to adjust in his sophomore season. His numbers dipped to 12.9 points and 4.3 assists per game. The Mavs kept Doncic and shipped Smith to the Knicks in a deal to acquire Kristaps Porzingis, aka the Unicorn.
Knicks head coach David Fizdale didn’t like Smith’s lack of consistency and spotty defense. Smith averaged 14.7 ppg in 21 games with the Knicks at the end of the 2019 season. He started only three games the next season and appeared in just 34 games, averaging 5.5 ppg.
When the defensive-minded Thibs arrived, Smith had zero shot at cracking his lineup. Smith was buried at the end of the bench with Frank Ntilikina. He appeared in three games this season during garbage time and averaged a career-low 3.1 ppg. In order to keep Smith fresh, the Knicks reassigned him to their developmental league team.
The Knicks are thrilled to finally unload Smith so they can finally close the book on that ugly chapter in their history.
Knicks Loaded at PG: IQ, Elf, D-Rose, Frankie Cigs
The Knicks (11-14) have an abundance of point guards with Elfrid Payton, rookie Immanuel Quickley, Ntilikina, and now D-Rose. What does that mean for Payton and IQ?
Quickley quickly became a fan favorite at MSG. Hall of Famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier is part of the Knicks announcing team at the MSG Network. Clyde loves IQ and even he questioned the Rose trade.
“Elf Payton has been playing his best basketball of the season and Quickley is the steal of the 2020 Draft,” said Clyde. “One of them will have to make room for Rose.”
IQ is the Knicks fourth-best scorer, averaging 12 ppg and 2.7 assists in just 19 minutes per game off the bench. Payton averaged 11.9 ppg and 3.7 assists while logging 29 minutes per game.
The Knicks are shopping backup shooting guard Austin Rivers to a potential contender, such as the Miami Heat. JJ Redick, the veteran shooting guard from the New Orleans Pelicans, has also been linked to the Knicks in a potential trade. The Pelicans put Redick and Lonzo Ball on the trading block.
News about the Rose/Smith trade didn’t alter the Knicks’ title odds. The Knicks are still +50000 odds to win the 2021 NBA Championship, according to DraftKings.