Report: Multiple teams see Knicks' Derrick Rose as a trade target
Why is this the case? Who wants an aging, oft-injured, expensive and relatively ineffective point guard?
In a story about the New York Knicks needing to choose a direction, ESPN’s Ian Begley reported multiple teams have interest in trading for Derrick Rose and asserted that “it would be surprising” if this wasn’t the case:
“I like being here but [you] never know what could happen,” Rose said Wednesday. “My job is to come in and play as hard as I can.”
Multiple teams view Rose as a potential trade target, according to league sources.
It would be surprising if the Knicks didn’t get calls about Rose as the deadline approaches. He has struggled on defense and hasn’t distributed the ball well, but he has shown that he’s again one of the best lane penetrators in the NBA.
I’m going to take a different position: Why would anybody see Rose as a trade target? It’s true that he’s been effective at getting into the paint this season, but I’m having trouble finding many other reasons for teams to go after him. Consider:
- Rose is only a rental, and an expensive one. If a team is trading for him, it would have to come close to matching his $21.3 million salary in players going the other way. He will be a free agent in July, and he reportedly will be seeking a maximum contract. It’s possible that his market value won’t even approach that realm, but there’s still a significant risk of losing him in a few months if you’re not willing to pay up.
- Saying Rose has “struggled” on defense is polite. The Knicks are giving up 111.7 points per 100 possessions with him on the court compared to 104.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the bench, and that isn’t just noise. Rose routinely gives up penetration with little resistance, and his poor pick-and-roll defense has been an enormous problem for New York.
- Rose is 28, so there’s no reason for a rebuilding team to acquire him. Ideally, the type of team targeting him would be assured of making the playoffs because of excellent defense, but lack the playmaking and ability to get to the basket that he provides. The Atlanta Hawks fit the bill of a solid team with a great defense and poor offense, but there’s little chance they see Rose as an upgrade over Dennis Schröder. If I really stretch my imagination, I could see the New Orleans Pelicans talking themselves into Rose because they fear Jrue Holiday will leave in the offseason, but I don’t think this would be a wise decision as they try to build around Anthony Davis.
- There are plenty of teams who could use Rose as a backup point guard, but this seems unrealistic. It would require him accepting that role -- unlikely! -- and a front office being OK with surrendering significant assets in order to fill that role.
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