Omari Sankofa II | Detroit Free Press
After one-and-a-half seasons together, Derrick Rose and the Detroit Pistons appear to be parting ways.
The Pistons are engaged in talks to trade Rose, and the New York Knicks appear to be the most likely destination, a league source confirmed to the Free Press on Saturday night. The source requested anonymity because no deal has been agreed upon.
The Athletic reported Saturday night the Pistons are “close” to trading Rose to the Knicks, where the 32-year-old point guard would reunite with his former head coach Tom Thibodeau.
According to a source, the Pistons — a league-worst 5-17 — want to give their young players more time on the court. Rose, is in his 13th NBA season, could join an 11-13 Knicks team currently seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Before the news broke, Pistons coach Dwane Casey said during his pregame interview that Rose would miss Saturday’s road game against the Los Angeles Lakers due to personal reasons.
Rose signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the Pistons in 2019, and abruptly averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 assists, his best marks in each category since 2011-12. He played in 50 of the Pistons’ 66 games, starting 15.
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In 15 games this season, he’s averaging 14.2 points and 4.2 assists in 22.8 minutes. His overall shooting percentage has dipped to 42.9% from 49% a year ago. He embraced his role as a veteran mentor for the young players on the roster, and established himself as a fan favorite.
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In New York, the former league MVP would join forces with Thibodeau, who coached him with the Chicago Bulls from 2010-15. Thibodeau is in his first year as Knicks head coach. Rose played 64 games for the Knicks in 2016-17, after the Bulls traded him in the summer, averaging 18 points.
Rose is making $7.7 million this season. The Knicks have a handful of young guards on expirings that could be used to match salary in a deal, including former first-round picks Frank Ntilikina ($6.2 million) and Dennis Smith Jr. ($5.7 million).
The Knicks own two first-round picks in 2021 (one from the Dallas Mavericks) and own two second-round picks via the Pistons and Charlotte Hornets.
The Pistons have a few young point guards on the roster, including rookies Killian Hayes and Saben Lee (two-way deal).
Hayes, the No. 7 overall pick in November’s NBA draft pegged to lead the rebuild under new general manager Troy Weaver, is rehabbing a hip injury, and the Pistons have been starting veteran Delon Wright at the point. With Rose out this week, Casey has been forced to play journeyman shooting guard Rodney McGruder to soak up point guard minutes.
Contact Omari Sankofa II at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.