By all accounts, the 2016-17 NBA season was a big disappointment for the New York Knicks, who finished 31-51. But apparently, this isn’t enough to keep point guard Derrick Rose from wanting to re-sign with the team.
Rose will hit unrestricted free agency in two weeks, giving him the ability to sign anywhere. And sources report that his first choice is inking a deal with New York.
In terms of numbers and playing time, this idea doesn’t seem so crazy. Rose averaged 18.0 PPG – his highest since 2012 – while shooting 47.1% from the field and a career-high 87.4% from the free-throw line. The 28-year-old also played in 64 games, which is his second most since 2011.
We wouldn’t say that the former league MVP has returned to 2011 form, when he averaged 25 PPG and 7.7 APG. But he played better in New York than he did in some past seasons with the Chicago Bulls.
Let’s take a look at what the Bleacher Report has to say on the matter, and cover how Rose staying with the Knicks will impact their betting futures.
Rose’s Agent Says “We Want the Best Team Possible”
Bleacher Report’s Yaron Weitzman writes that Rose’s camp thinks New York is the best team for the star guard. They’ve also indicated that he’ll take less money to make a deal happen:
“Derrick loves New York and wants to be there,” Rose’s agent, B.J. Armstrong, told Bleacher Report recently. “We’ve expressed that to them and been very consistent about it. Whether it happens is on them; all we can do is be clear.”
Armstrong said Rose, who underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee in April, is healthy and working out. He also insinuated that Rose would be willing to take a pay cut (he made $21.3 million last year).
“In the end, we want to explore everything—if you’re going to compete, you clearly need a number of [top] players, so let’s figure that out,” Armstrong said. “We want the best team possible. That’s it. All the other stuff, if the team wins, everyone wins.”
Big Change from Rose’s Mindset Last Season
The idea of Derrick Rose taking less money to remain in New York represents a change from the season, when Rose’s camp suggested that he’d look for a max contract for the 2017-18 campaign. This was also during the bizarre midseason disappearance of Rose, where he skipped a game and didn’t notify team officials beforehand.
It didn’t help matters that he was also one of the lead Knicks players who grumbled about the triangle offense:
Derrick Rose has a philosophy now with the triangle, a system still like a foreign language to the point guard: “Don’t F’ it up.” […]
Let’s just say, Rose remains reluctant in his embrace of Phil Jackson’s system.
“S–t, do I have a choice? Do I have a choice?” Rose said when asked if he’s warming up to the triangle. “I just want to win games. Winning takes care of every category for an athlete.”
Hornacek Indiates that They’re Open to Rose Coming Back
Despite Rose missing a game without notifying the team, and his hesitancy towards the triangle, New York still expressed a willingness to bring him back. Here’s more from the New York Post’s Marc Berman:
“We haven’t discussed that,’’ Hornacek said. “Derrick did a lot of good things for us this year, with the way he can break down the defense. As the season went on, he got more comfortable with the offense. It’s unfortunate he has to have another surgery. I’m sure he’ll come back strong from it. He worked hard last year in the summer to get his body in good shape. I’m sure he’ll do that again. We’ll take a look at it and see if we can bring him back.’’
Rose Has Dropped Hints that He Wants to Stay with the Knicks
Rose reciprocated Hornacek’s lukewarm words while taking in a Bulls playoff game against the Boston Celtics. Here’s what he told the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson:
“I’m going into it with an open mind and will listen to everyone,” Rose said. “Last season sucked losing. But it was a great experience. I loved the guys that I played with and I loved the coaching staff. And who wouldn’t like playing in New York? It was great.”
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported the following on Rose staying:
“We talked about him going through rehab and work and whatever he has to do. And he’s chosen to go back to Chicago to do that. He’ll also be in L.A. but he also took the time out to say he really he enjoyed playing here even with the losses, which of course surprises us because he’s been on some very successful teams but he wants to redeem himself as a player. Which I like that attitude. I like who Derrick represents as himself. He’s very direct about taking on a big challenge.”
How Rose’s Re-signing will Affect the Knicks’ Betting Futures
Derrick Rose felt that New York was going to be an upper-tier team in the East. And it seemed remotely possible, given the free-agent additions of himself, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings.
However, things didn’t turn out quite as planned as the team failed to gel. And as Rose pointed out, none of the veterans were too happy about the heavy losses. This now marks four straight losing seasons for a Knicks team that doesn’t show much promise, despite having Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis leading them.
As mentioned in the introduction, Rose put up solid numbers with New York. And the Knicks benefited from his presence, scoring 5.5 more points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.
Unfortunately, the defense gave up more points with him on the floor too. New York surrendered 106.1 points per 100 possessions when he sat, and 111.1 points per 100 when he played. The latter would’ve ranked fifth-to-last in the league.
In the end, though it’s tough to tell how much better Rose makes New York. The numbers suggest that he’s an offensive upgrade, which adds an extra scoring threat to take pressure off Melo and Porzingis. But bad defense has plagued New York for years, and Rose doesn’t help this situation.
Taking everything into account, Rose won’t tremendously boost New York’s odds of winning the Eastern Conference. But he’s definitely better than rolling with Ron Baker and Chasson Randle as your top point guard options.
Chances are that the Knicks will bring Rose back if it makes sense financially. And this could be the case, given that rumors have Rose taking less money to return.
This option makes even more sense if New York grabs a point guard with the No. 8 overall draft pick. Reports have surfaced that French guard Frank Ntilikina is their guy. He’s a 6’5″ player with long arms and a sound jumper, which would make him good for the triangle.
That said, perhaps they could work out a two or three-year deal while Ntilikina is groomed.