When I first learned of the Derrick Rose-to-the-Knicks deal, my eyes lit up. “Holy shit!” I thought. “That team is about to be super explosive!”
And, indeed, the thinking makes sense. Derrick Rose is one of the NBA’s elite point guards. Now pair him with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis and you’ve got the makings of an explosive combination. Look out world, New York is back!
Of course, what followed my initial take was a second, more stubborn pondering: This trade is brutal.
And, indeed, it may well be brutal. The Knicks now own a 27-year-old injury-prone guard who has been limited to 127 games over three seasons. They’ll be paying him $21 million in 2016-17, which isn’t exactly chump change. Worst of all, they surrendered Robin Lopez, one of the NBA’s better centers, as well as Jerian Grant, a potential future standout.
So, yeah, no good.
But then … I had a third thought, comprised of two words: Why not? Look, the Knicks suck, and they have sucked for a long time. They’re boring, they’re flat, they’re damned by Carmelo’s contract and attitude. Madison Square Garden hasn’t been a scene in forever. So maybe, just maybe, this was worth a shot. Rose will be playing for a new contract—and nothing inspires players more than finances. He’ll be refreshed, recharged, playing in a fantastic arena in an even more fantastic city. Maybe he stays healthy, the Knicks win 50 and suddenly New York basketball matters again.
Then they sign Rose to a six-year extension and his leg falls off.