The Detroit Pistons have traded point guard Derrick Rose to the Knicks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and draft compensation, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
This trade allows Rose to reunite with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau coached Rose for five seasons when Rose played with the Chicago Bulls. Rose also played for Thibodeau in Minnesota for two seasons. Now, the two will hope to continue the Knicks’ good run of play together.
Rose was averaging 14.2 points and 4.2 assists per game for the Pistons through 15 games. While he didn’t start any games for Detriot, he provided valuable contributions off the bench. He had 3 games of over 20 points while with the Pistons. Rose also led Detriot with the highest points per possession as the pick and roll ball handler with 0.88 (min 2 possessions per game).
Questionable Move by the Knicks
While it is nice to see Rose reunite with Thibodeau for the third time in his career, the deal doesn’t make much sense for the Knicks. Smith Jr., the point guard they gave up for Rose, was not even rostered on the Knicks team. He had been recently assigned to the Knicks G-League affiliate. This means the Knicks added a guard without really subtracting one from their active roster.
The two Knicks guards have already exceeded expectations this year. Elfrid Payton has been a competent starting guard as he plays well alongside Julius Randle and R.J Barrett. Off the bench, Immanuel Quickley has been one of the best rookies in the league and would be producing even better numbers if Thibodeau would give him more time. Those minutes will now be taken away by the aging Rose.
It is a feel-good story to see Rose join up with Thibodeau again. However, given the current roster makeup of the Knicks, the deal will definitely raise some eyebrows.
Why the Pistons Did This Deal
According to reports, both the Pistons and Rose agreed it would best for everyone involved to part ways. Rose has not played in the last three games for Detriot and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. This was a smart move to move Rose now instead of losing him for nothing at the end of the season.
The Pistons will look towards the future with this trade. At 5-18, the Pistons sit last in the Eastern Conference. They are not looking to make a playoff run this year and maybe not even next year. Their championship window is evidently much further down the line.
Acquiring a player like Dennis Smith Jr. is a worthwhile risk for the Pistons. Since being drafted 9th overall by the Mavericks in 2017, Smith Jr has struggled to make the desired impact of a top-10 pick. However, at just 23 years old, Smith Jr. still has a lot of time to turn his career around, and Detriot might be the place to do that. This was a smart deal for the Pistons and a win-win for all parties involved.