The Knicks are a “preferred destination” for Derrick Rose because of coach Tom Thibodeau and the experience the Pistons guard had when he played in New York during the 2016/17 season, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Word broke last night that the Knicks, along with the Clippers and a few other teams, are engaged in trade talks involving Rose.
Sources tell Berman that New York is willing to part with any of its three former lottery picks who aren’t in the rotation under Thibodeau — Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. However, Berman doesn’t expect Knox, the youngest of the three at age 21, to be included in the deal.
Berman also believes the team will hold on to the 2021 first-round pick it received from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. With Dallas off to a 10-14 start, there’s a chance it could become another lottery selection. Berman notes that the Knicks have flexibility in a deal because they have $18MM in cap room and won’t have to match Rose’s $7.2MM salary.
He also points out that Saturday marked the first day that free agents who signed in November can be traded. That means Austin Rivers, Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks are all eligible to be moved.
There’s more on a potential deal:
- Sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv that Ntilikina’s name has been brought up in trade talks. The point guard has an expiring contract and will be a restricted free agent after the season. Begley notes that the Pistons will likely ask for at least one draft pick, but he doesn’t think New York is willing to give up a first-rounder. Some Knicks representatives believed the team was close to acquiring Rose during the offseason, according to Begley. He adds that if New York pulls off a deal, it will probably be with the intention to re-sign Rose, who is also headed for free agency. The Knicks would own his Early Bird rights and could offer a contract ranging from two to four years with a starting salary up to $13.4MM or a one-year deal for as much as $9.2MM.
- The Pistons are interested in acquiring Smith, who recently asked to be sent to the G League for more playing time, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. With Blake Griffin‘s expensive contract likely on the books for another season, new general manager Troy Weaver has been working to reduce salary in other areas.
- Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic examines how a Rose deal would affect the Knicks, particularly rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley.