It was only a matter of time before the marriage between the Chicago Bulls and point guard Derrick Rose came to an end. Wednesday afternoon was that time as the Bulls shipped Rose and Justin Holiday to the New York Knicks in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant.
The Knicks are hoping to get the Rose of his first four seasons and not the four seasons that followed. After being drafted No. 1 overall in 2008, Rose showed why that investment was a good one during the first four years of his career as he averaged 21 points and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 46.4% from the floor. He also played in 89.4% of the Bulls games. He won the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards, while making three All-Star appearances. He led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals once and to the best record in the East twice.
Along came the 2012-13 season where things started to unravel for the former MVP and the Bulls.
Rose tore his ACL in the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers and his career would drastically change after that. He would go on to miss the following season and then all but 10 games the season after that. Derrick hasn’t been able to regain his MVP-style of play due to not only the ACL tear, but other various injuries. His last four seasons, he averaged 16.9 points and 4.8 assists per game while shooting 41.2% and playing in only 38.7% of the Bulls games.
The writing was on the wall for the divorce of the Bulls and their former No. 1 overall pick out of Memphis. The Bulls had to act now, as tough as the decision might have been internally, or they would have risked getting nothing in return for Rose, who was giving the franchise signals he would explore potential free agency options following next season.
Now Rose gets a fresh start in the concrete jungle of the Big Apple. The Knicks are hoping they can get the MVP Rose and not the Rose of the past four seasons. It’s essentially a one-year rental to see what he has left and if he could help New York long term.
New York desperately needed a point guard and have one that won an MVP award in the league. This isn’t unfamiliar territory for the Knicks to acquire a big-time veteran point guard via trade. Three of the more well-known point guards the Knicks have acquired were Chauncey Billups, Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury. Add Rose to that list and this time the Knicks are hoping for a better outcome.
The play of the Knicks point guards last season was pitiful at best. The point guards averaged just 7.6 points per game which ranked last in the NBA while dishing out a fourth-worst 3.8 assists per game. Rose averaged 16.4 points and 4.7 assists per game a season ago. When the calendar flipped to 2016, Rose increased his play averaging 17.7 points on 45.3% shooting and 55.3% shooting on drives. The drive to the basket style will be something the Knicks can get used to. Last year, the team averaged 15.5 drives to the basket per game, while Rose alone averaged 8.9.
If he is able to remain healthy, that could be good for Carmelo Anthony, who does a lot better when the point guard play is up. Rose can drive to the basket and dish to Anthony on the wing, which could result in a lot of open jumpers for Melo.
When Rose found out he could possibly be dealt, one of his top desired destinations was New York.
Along with the injuries, the Knicks have to be careful of one other thing; the summer after this upcoming season. Rose is set to make $21.3 million this season and then after that, will look for more money. This season Rose will be out to prove that he is healthy enough and back to the style of play he once was at in order to garner the money he desires.
This is a high-risk, high-reward gamble for the Knicks. Perhaps a change of scenery will have Rose rejuvenated and back to his MVP days. If Rose does not perform as the Knicks hope, he can always go elsewhere next year. If he is healthy and played at the level many expect him to play at, this team will be better because of it.
Time will tell if Rose can blossom in the concrete jungle of the Big Apple.