Lot of chatter around NBA that the Knicks might also release Derrick Rose. Would Phil really do that? Clearly, he's not afraid to be fired.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 27, 2017
This comes just two days after Rose’s agent, B.J. Armstrong, told both SiriusXM NBA and the New York Post that his client is committed to the Knicks long-term. Rose was reportedly on the market before the trade deadline, but the team did not find a deal for him. He will be a free agent this summer.
If it wasn’t already clear that New York’s Rose experiment failed, it should be now. On an individual level, the former MVP has been fine this season, perhaps a little better than expected. In 50 games, he has averaged 17.6 points, 4.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds, shooting 46.2 percent and showing an ability to get into the paint and score at the rim that the Knicks desperately needed. Those numbers, however, do not capture the harmful effect he has had on New York’s defense -- when he’s been on the court, the team has had a 111.6 defensive rating, worse than any of his teammates.
As a poor defender and an unreliable outside shooter (Rose is making 23.6 percent of his 3-pointers this season, his worst mark since he was a rookie), there is a ceiling on how much he can help a team right now. The conundrum is that the only way he can be effective is by having the ball in his hands, but he’s not an efficient enough scorer or effective enough distributor to command full control of an offense. This is why it wouldn’t be completely nuts for the Knicks, having decided not to consider re-signing him in the offseason, simply let him go.
If they did go in that direction, though, it would be their biggest admission yet that they bungled just about everything last summer. Their marquee free agent signing, Joakim Noah, is reportedly because of knee surgery. Jennings is gone. Now, eight months after trading a good center on a good contract (Robin Lopez) and a promising guard prospect (Jerian Grant) for Rose, they could just release him? New York fans have every right to be disillusioned with the front office.