The Knicks Roundtable: The Derrick Rose Trade

Already a controversial topic, The Knicks Wall writers pen their opinion on the trade that brought Derrick Rose to New York.

(via Business Insider)

When it was announced yesterday afternoon that the New York Knicks have acquired former MVP Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls, each collective fanbase flooded social media with their own #HotTake about the move.

Many were excited. Others were disappointed. Some were left unfazed.

We, at The Knicks Wall, have our own set of opinions, so here is the first roundtable for the upcoming 2016–2017 season.

(Buckle up, this is a doozy…)

Anthony Corbo:

For better or for worse, I’ve been craving a big trade. This franchise has been making smart moves the last few years, save for a few missteps. But since that Bargnani trade and initial growing pains from the regime change, there have been several low-risk, big reward moves and signings that have built a foundation for the team.

But franchises don’t win on foundations alone, eventually you have to take a gamble.

We’ve been here many times before, most recently Bargnani. Hell, we could go all the way through the last 20 years and take a look at lopsided/questionable trades for franchise altering players.

We may not necessarily know the impact of the Melo trade for a while (who would’ve thought Mozgov would be the one to cross the finish line first,) and for all the baggage that came with Amar’e, he was certainly responsible for changing the team’s culture upon arrival.

But still, neither of them have truly paid off yet. From there we can start getting into the more deplorable names of Knicks lore — guys like Eddy Curry, Stevie Franchise, McDyess. But if we go back far enough, one gamble stands out as being…helpful, at least.

Though he wasn’t any fan’s favorite at the time, and his legacy sure hasn’t aged well, Latrell Spreewell made an immediate impact on the team after being acquired in the lockout-shortened 1999 season. You know, the last time we made the NBA Finals.

Now, I’m not comparing Rose’s on-court impact in 2016 to Spree’s in ’99 (although,) but the point is the Knicks rolled the dice on a player with a long history of baggage and brilliance, and even took a game against a David Robinson and Tim Duncan led Spurs team!

Teams don’t win without taking risks. Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant, and even by extension Jose Calderon are fantastic complementary players, but they mean nothing if you don’t have pieces that can raise your team’s ceiling. Melo and Porzingis are certainly those players. Derrick Rose may or not be, and that alone is worth the gamble.

That being said, you’re all correct, loyal Knicks Wall readers. Rose isn’t going to be the player to get us to 50, 60 wins. But the Knicks have won exactly 333 games over the last 10 years, and Rose’s name value, along with those of our team’s part-time Ghostbusters, might just be enough to bring someone in who can raise our ceiling that high. Probably not this summer, but if Rose can prove that he can provide steady, up-tempo offense, can find Melo and KP in their spots, and can stay on the court, he won’t just have earned himself a spot on the 2017–18 roster but may have persuaded others to join him as well.

And isn’t that what this was all about anyway?

The Knicks are finally doing what we all have been asking them to do the last ten years, admitting their mistake. There’s a new coach at Madison Square Garden, a rising stud who’s yet to even experience the New York bar scene yet (perhaps some alumni can give him a tour on his birthday), a prolific scorer who, with help, still has everything needed to be elite, only one other player on contract past this season, and now an above average point guard on an expiring contract in desperate need of a fresh start.

This move works just as well for Derrick Rose as it does for the Knicks, and that reliance is what makes this one of the smartest moves the Bockers have made in years.

Kyle Maggio:

I know the popular, and perhaps sane opinion immediately following the Knicks’ trade for Derrick Rose was agony. Same old Knicks, just trying to win now, for our aging 32 year-old star, Carmelo Anthony.

I don’t see it that way; not entirely.

Yes, Derrick Rose has been a bad basketball player much of the last three seasons. I’m willing to chalk most of it up to rust after missing most of two seasons with major knee injuries, but he there is reason for concern with his poor efficiency and questionable shot-taking. However, he is an immediate upgrade over any guard on the Knicks roster and is worth a one year tryout.

Knicks fans are mostly infuriated with what seems like a move that was made to appease Dolan, Carmelo, or both. And they may be right, however I think otherwise.

Hear me out.

I’d like to believe that this was made with the intentions of moving Kristaps to the center position, which enables Carmelo to slide back to his natural and most effective position in the power forward slot. This would enable new coach Jeff Hornacek to play with a very fast, very spaced out lineup, with Porzingis stretching out to the three-point line to open up the lane for Rose, who averaged nearly 9 drives to the basket by himself last season. New York as a team averaged 15 last year.

All I’m saying is, Rose may play better than we think. He’s not young, at 27 years old, but I refuse to believe the last season and a half are what Rose will continue to play like. I believe he has good basketball left in front of him. Not 2011 MVP level basketball, but perhaps better than he’s played recently.

The biggest gripe was over losing Robin Lopez, who he a favorable contract and was a big help beside young Porzingis last season. He’s not great, but he’s more than solid by almost any metric. He rebounds well, defends well and is an experienced player. I hated seeing him involved in this move, and I do feel the Knicks bid against themselves and overpaid for a an oft-injured former MVP.

I don’t mind losing Grant, although I was fond of him. I believe Grant will be more than just a career backup, for what it’s worth, but we’ll see. The Knicks also obtained Justin Holiday from Chicago, who shot the ball well for the Bulls last year, and although unlikely, Holiday could provide some shooting on the wing that the Knicks desperately needed last year.

The immediate verdict is that Chicago won this trade, and I do agree. But I don’t think it’s quite the fleecing it has been made out to be, especially if the move was intended to move Kristaps to the five and Carmelo to the four.

Matt Spendley:

I wrote about some of my feelings on acquiring Derrick Rose here, but I didn’t cover a couple angles that I want to touch on. So here we go.

Let’s start with what the Knicks gave up. Robin Lopez was great for the team last year, and he was probably my personal favorite Knick sans Porzingis. He is durable, works hard every game, is entertaining as hell, and represented half of a formidable rim protecting tandem with Kristaps. His contract is going to look just dandy when the cap explodes over the next two years. He’ll be missed.

Ultimately, I think Phil decided that trading Lopez was acceptable for two reasons. One, the Knicks now have ample cap space for the 2017 offseason. Only three players are under contract past for that period: Carmelo Anthony, Porzingis, and Kyle O’Quinn. They will have the ability to completely revamp the roster come next summer if they please. Two, the free agency class for big men this offseason is swimming with options.

From Hassan Whiteside (would he leave Miami?) to Pau Gasol (maybe) to Joakim Noah (if he’s healthy) to Dwight Howard (uhm…no?), there are a ton of options out there. By making this move, Phil is either confident that he can find a viable replacement, or he is willing to let Porzingis play the 5. That is where his future lies, but he may still need to develop that body of his before he can grind down there for a full season.

The other main piece that was relinquished in this deal was Jerian Grant. He showed signs last year of being a serviceable point guard in the NBA, with the four or five game stretch at the end of the season and the game against the Celtics in January coming to mind.

However, in my opinion, his ceiling is as a backup point guard. Fans of any team always overvalue their own assets. It’s just what we do as a fanbase. Remember how we thought Iman Shumpert was a huge trade piece that couldn’t really be given up for Kyle Lowry? Bleh. The same goes for Grant. He had value around the league, but it was not as high as Knicks fans would like to believe.

I never had extremely high hopes for Grant. I don’t want anyone to think I’m saying this solely because he was just dealt, so I want to make it clear that I was never that high on Grant’s long term potential. I might sound like a dude that got dumped and talks about how his ex-girlfriend was never that cool so it didn’t matter when he got dumped because he was too good for her anyways, but whatever.

They made a great move in getting him for Tim Hardaway Jr., and I was excited when he was selected. He has a future in the league for sure. He’s never going to be the player that Knicks fans wanted him to be, though. I want this to be in writing and published so that I can stand by it: If he ever averages more than 12 points OR 6 assists, I will eat crow. I just don’t think he’ll ever reach those numbers.

Jose Calderon was also dealt, which gives the Knicks a little more money to spend this offseason. He has been lauded as an excellent teammate wherever he has played, so his presence in the locker room will be missed. We’ve talked at length about his shortcomings on the court, so let’s just say the Knicks are better off with Rose at point guard.

I understand that Knicks fans always have the mentality that the franchise is going to do something wrong. We have become accustomed to management making moves that either don’t work out or were doomed from the start. Some people have been comparing the Rose trade to trades that the team has made in the past, when they got point guards that were either clearly past their prime or undeniable head cases (Penny, Stevie Franchise, and Stephon Marbury come to mind).

This is not one of those deals. The Knicks did not give away any long term assets. Lopez and Grant were decent assets, and they decided to cash them in. I don’t think either of these guys was an absolutely essential piece to the fiber of this team moving forward.

There is an incredibly low level of long term risk attached to this move to bring Rose to New York. If his knees act up and he plays 10 games, this season would suck, but he would be off the books next year. Slate wiped clean. The worst case scenario, which some have pointed out, would be Rose playing at a high level this year, and the Knicks resigning him at a big price tag because they feel like they need to keep him around. It’s in play, Despite this, the trade cannot possibly be THAT bad because the Knicks didn’t hurt their long term outlook. You can hate it now, but let’s give it a chance. Lopez is a replaceable player, and Grant always had a limited ceiling.

Rose is not the same player that he once was. Everyone needs to realize this from the first time he steps onto the hallowed ground under the most famous ceiling in the world. His advanced stats are ugly, he can’t shoot, and he hasn’t exactly been the most willing passer. Him and Melo are both high usages guys that will need the ball to succeed. But he is an upgrade for the Knicks at a position that badly needed one.

I certainly don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but I’m more concerned with what happens in the future for this team than this season. Give me some semblance of watchability with a guarantee that they’ll have a chance at some big name guys come next summer and I’m happy.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope that Rose can stay healthy.

Peter Saclarides:

When I was scrolling through my Twitter, and I saw that the Knicks had traded Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant, and Jose Calderon for Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday, and a 2017 second round pick I was baffled. How can you give up all of that for someone as injury-prone as Rose, a backup, and a second rounder? After I read some second opinions and thought about the trade more, I started to turn around and kind of like it.

Maybe it’s because I’m a Knicks fan, and Knicks fans are the best at making light of things that actually suck, but I think this could turn out pretty well. I’ll miss Lopez’ game, and we’ll never know what could have become of Jerian Grant in Hornacek’s system, but with a ton of cap space and a wide open spot at Center at Shooting Guard I think New York could do some damage in free agency, and possibly make a playoff run. Even if the Knicks don’t sign big name players the Rose situation is a low risk high reward situation, as Rose is only on a one-year contract. If Rose can’t stay healthy, or busts, the Knicks don’t have to commit to him and can search for a new point guard in the loaded 2017 free agency class.

Maybe I’m being too optimistic, but if Rose stays healthy (which he proved he can last season), and the Knicks can manage to go out and get a decent wing and center, they could be in good position for the 2016–17 season.


First off, let it be known that Derrick Rose is not a lost cause. He’s a 26 year old player who finished the 2015–2016 season somewhat strong. On the other end, the Knicks overpaid for him. He’s not the 2011 iteration of himself and has since become an oft injured shell of what he used to be. Rose was the third best point guard traded for yesterday, safely behind both Jeff Teague and George Hill. Both Teague and Hill were acquired for less. That’s where the problem with the Rose trade lies.

Robin Lopez is not a franchise cornerstone by any means. He has, however, become a valuable trade asset with the expansion of the salary cap. In a month guys like; Bismack Biyombo, Hassan Whiteside, and Al Jefferson will, presumably, fetch contracts that are worth more than Lopez. At around thirteen million dollars per, Lopez is going to be considered a steal for a starting center in the league. Not to say the Knicks should be attached to Lopez and his contract but selling it for a lottery ticket in Rose’s current self is selling Lopez short of his value.

Thad Young was traded for a first round pick, George Hill was too. Assuming Phil Jackson, maybe James Dolan, were making the move for 2017–2018 financial purposes it is uncertain why the Knicks did not look to acquire a pick or a young player. Rose in the year 2016 is an asset in name only. Every report about this trade cites the Knicks acquiring a “former MVP.” Rose is a former MVP, and you cannot take that 2011 season away from him, but he’s not that player anymore. Athletic point guards do not age well and Rose looks to be on that same track.

Jerian Grant was quietly moved yesterday too. Grant was a victim of being stuck on a roster that was headed by Kurt Rambis and Derek Fisher. Both were coaching for their jobs and feeling a pressure to win-now. Grant, a rookie, was not fit for a win-now rotation and ultimately suffered. Grant in the right system would be valuable to a team. He could be a quality backup point guard and best case scenario is a serviceable starter. To be clear, Rose is better than him.

In conclusion, the Knicks overpaid for Rose. They traded the best player in the deal, as Lopez has proven over the last two seasons to be more reliable and flat out better than Derrick Rose. Justin Holiday might be able to develop into a solid two-way off guard. Acquiring a second rounder is a nice touch but in the end not enough for the Lopez contract. There’s a chance Rose regains about eighty percent of his MVP season. You cannot write off his talent. But at the time of the trade, it is hard to justify the cost to play the lottery ticket that is 2016 Derrick Rose.

Reid Goldsmith:

I’m frightened by the trade. The reasonable response after acquiring Derrick Rose is, “let’s see if he works out well, they didn’t give up much.” But they did give up much. You could say they didn’t give up another future first rounder but they gave up a first rounder from last year in Grant who arguably hadn’t been used properly or showed his potential. They traded a solid, starting center in Lopez who was durable, unlike the expiring contract in Rose.

To me, it feels like this isn’t the end for New York for free agency. They haven’t even signed anyone yet! They have about five contracts on their roster as we speak: Anthony, Porzingis, Rose, O’Quinn, and Early. And they should re-sign restricted free agent Langston Galloway and unrestricted free agent Lance Thomas. No promises though.

This isn’t much of a right now situation, it’s more of a “what’s next?” Do the Knicks regrettably go after Dwight Howard? Or do they come back from Mars and quietly build their roster with youth, depth, and athleticism? If Porzingis is your raw superstar, why take the ball out of his hands by adding another hungry ball-dependent player, trying to prove himself for his next contract?

It’s disheartening and feels like a retread of mistakes in the Pantheon of Bad Knicks Trades™. They gave up too quickly on their own developing point guard for a previous star point guard with a laundry list of injuries (Rose and Carmelo can go to the knee doctor together! Cute!). And philosophically it seems like one step forward, two steps back to acquire a big name. I just really hope next week Phil calls players to fill out a respectable roster, not two big names to eat up the cap space.

Brendan Duball:

I’ve spent hours trying to convince myself that this was a good move by the Knicks, that it wasn’t a typical quick-fix, Dolan-esque trade, but I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. Woj, a man that I would 100% trust with my life, mentioned on his podcast that he and a few front office executives around the league were shocked at how much the Knicks gave up to acquire Rose, essentially because there was NO market for him. And why should there be?


I don’t care about his 2011 MVP award; I care about the fact that the Knicks have yet again chosen the impatient, ‘win now’ approach that has plagued this organization time and time again, but this time with a meniscus-less, mediocre jump-shooting, closer to above average than elite PG at the forefront of the attack. This move screams to me that the Knicks have no intention of steadily acquiring, growing and developing young assets, but instead are locked into the timeline of a 32-year- old Carmelo Anthony.

Robin Lopez was ACTUALLY GOOD, I keep hearing that ‘the league is moving away from Lopez-type C’s anyway,’ but what does that even mean? I don’t think there’s enough chatter about how much Lopez helped Porzingis offensively and defensively last year. He was the low post anchor on defense which allowed KP to drift around with his defensive matchup and his low post offensive presence gave KP the ability to leak out to the perimeter on offense. The wort part of trading RoLo is that now Dwight to NY is a real, yet terrible possibility.

Jerian Grant had his struggles in his rookie season, which shouldn’t be a surprise, because, ya know, that’s what some rookies do; struggle. At times he showed tremendous court vision and was a solid finisher at the rim with contact. Sure, maybe he never would’ve turned into a superstar which us overly- optimistic Knicks fans predicted, but trading away a young PG with decent upside is just so mind- boggling that I’m going to stop talking about it because I’ll miss Jerian and I’m getting sad now.

Calderon’s gone, so we have that going for us, which is nice. Oh and what is a Justin Holliday? Maybe, I’m overreacting. Maybe this one year rental of Derrick Rose will turn out not horrible. Players typically ball out in their final contract year and I have no doubt Rose will probably do the same and then command a max contract next year. And if he doesn’t? Well, then we start over again in 2017 with the blind optimism that a guy like Russell Westbrook will look at our max contract offer and say “Yep, I don’t care about winning anymore. Here I come NY.”

I hope Derrick Rose proves me wrong this season. I feel like I’ve said this about every Knicks acquisition the past 5 years.

Long Live Kristaps.

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