The 2020-21 NBA season just completed its first month, and things are shaping up little by little. In the middle of it, as always, are the intriguing trade rumors.
Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose appears to be a name that’s hot in the mill. Though far removed from his explosive, MVP-caliber self, the 32-year-old veteran still has a couple of hurrahs left in him. He’s averaging a serviceable 14.6 points and 4.4 assists per game on the season, both ranking second in the team.
Rose definitely doesn’t belong on the lowly Pistons, who are only 4-14 and bound to yet another ‘lottery year.’ He should be on a playoff team, at the very least. After all that he’s been through, the basketball gods owe us a ‘Rose’ during the postseason.
Fortunately, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the first two teams to emerge in a possible trade are both potential playoff squads: the LA Clippers and New York Knicks.
The Clippers and Knicks are quite far from one other in terms of terms of expectations, since the former is a title contender and the latter only has hopes of finally ending a long postseason drought. However, there’s no denying that both destinations have their own interesting factors.
Let’s look at how the beloved D-Rose will fit in each group:
The Clippers have two killers at the wing position in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The superstar duo is then surrounded by a good supporting cast: Serge Ibaka, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Nicolas Batum, Luke Kennard, and Marcus Morris, among others.
Like everyone’s been saying, though, the Clipps are missing a piece at the point guard spot. With all due respect to the 14-4 record (2nd in the West), as well as Beverley’s in-your-face defense and Williams’s quick-trigger scoring, it’s apparent that they’re not bringing the right impact. Williams, in particular, has slowed down, as he is scoring just 8.9 PPG, his lowest since the 2007-08 season.
Rose will improve the depth at the PG slot and bring more firepower. He can create his own shots since he’s still able to nicely attack the basket and occasionally deliver threat from the mid-range, certainly good enough to take some pressure off Leonard and George.
It will also be interesting to see how far he can still push through when he’s with a true contender instead of a bottom-feeder. Keep in mind that he just put up 18.1 PPG for the Pistons last year.
New York Knicks
The Knickerbockers are looking feisty under new head coach Tom Thibodeau. Though currently holding a rocky 8-11 slate, things are okay for the most part, especially on defense. They allow the fewest points per game (103.8 PAPG), as well as the lowest field goal (43%) and three-point percentage (31.4%).
Rose joining the defensive-minded, playoff-hungry core is intriguing as it fits his downhill, no-nonsense attack, and his similar strive to finally play in the postseason again. Besides, Knicks need to boost their PG depth, since Elfrid Payton is consistently inconsistent, rookie Immanuel Quickley is still raw, and Austin Rivers is actually a natural combo guard. He can play a good mentor role to the young guys too, namely Quickley, RJ Barrett, and Obi Toppin.
Of course, the most interesting aspect of this potential move is Rose’s reunion with Thibs, his Chicago Bulls coach from 2010-2015. The two collaborating again should result in a handful of storylines, and it may possibly highlight one or two more relevant playoff runs.