The New York Knicks reportedly want to do their utmost to keep Derrick Rose on board for another year. But one anonymous Eastern Conference executive has hinted that there would be no shortage of bidders if he were to become a bargaining chip.
Speaking with Heavy.com, the exec acknowledged that Rose’s ability to carve a lasting NBA role for himself despite a plethora of injuries as well as a favorable contract (just over $30 million over the next two seasons, the latter being on a player option) make him a prime trade candidate.
“There are 29 teams that would be willing to take him,” the exec declared, saying that the 2011 MVP is “hands down” the Knicks’ best trade piece. “He’s older now obviously and whatever happened off the floor with him, (but) on the floor he has been such a pro everywhere he has gone. His contract is good he has become a very good three-point shooter, he brings energy, (and) he likes coming off the bench.”
Rose, who turns 34 in October, is in the midst of his second tenure with the Knicks (2016-17, 2021-present). Though he has dealt with injuries (including a skin infection on his ankle), he has been a consistent option off the bench for New York, a role rewarded with a third-place finish in the 2020-21 Sixth Man of the Year ballot.
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With the Knicks having reportedly re-opened trade discussions around Donovan Mitchell, it feels like the team has a prime candidate to send to a Utah Jazz team likely destined for a full-on rebuilding makeover. Utah has reportedly coveted some younger New York veterans (i.e. Quentin Grimes) but putting a strong mentor and lingering bench contributor like Rose would likely sweeten any potential Mitchell deal.
And yet, the exec declares, don’t expect Rose to pick up any change of address forms: the prescience of head coach Tom Thibodeau still looms large in New York and he will likely look to keep Rose (his former protege during his years in Minnesota and glory days in Chicago) on board for what could be a fateful third season at the Knicks’ helm.
“The relationship with Thibs is there,” the exec told Heavy. “They would not consider moving him unless he asked for it.”
For the time being, the Knicks appear to, once again, have no interest in trimming Rose just get.