Once the New York Knicks figure out the course of their future, they can address the dilemma that is Derrick Rose.The point guard position is arguably the most important position in today’s NBA. Last season, the New York Knicks found out first-hand what it is like to be deficient in that area.
Phil Jackson and the Knicks front office went out and upgraded that position in the offseason through acquiring former NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose in a five-player trade with the Chicago Bulls.
Unfortunately, for the Knicks, the 2016-17 season has not gone the way they had planned. New York finds themselves in a tough situation. Their 21-27 record has them sitting in the 11 spot in the Eastern Conference. That being said, they are only four games out of the sixth seed.
Do they decide to tank and improve their draft status? Or, do they choose to keep on the course and make a playoff run? Once the team figures out what direction they are headed in, they will be able to address the dilemma that is Derrick Rose.
The positives of keeping him
Rose has been one of the best point guards that the Knicks have had in the last ten years, at least on the offensive end of the court. This season for New York he is averaging 18.1 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in 32.2 minutes per game. His 2.5 turnovers per game are a career low.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard is in the final year of his current contract. Rose has shown that he still possesses the “old Derrick Rose” ability to get to the rim anytime that he wants. That is something that many experts were not sure he would be able to do.
Throughout his career, Rose has been labeled as being injury prone. So far this season, he has only missed five games. He is on pace to play more games this year than any year since 2011-12. Four of those missed games were due to an injury. The fifth one was the infamous missing in action game earlier this month.
Reason to let him walk
As good as Rose has been offensively (jump passes not included), he has been equally as bad on defense. Rose is one of the quickest players in the league. That being said, he has shown time after time an inability to stay in front of his man.
A lot of that has to do with a lack of effort fighting through screens when the opponents run the pick and roll offense. This forces New York’s big men to leave their own man and help out. That ends with either an easy basket or a trip to the foul line.
Rose also has shown a lack of effort when it comes to closing out on three-point shooters. To be honest so has everyone on the club. The problem is that with Rose it has been at the most crucial times in a game. It has ended up costing the Knicks at least two wins.
Defense and lack of mental toughness aside, New York needs to decide what their long term plan is with Rose. He has already come out and said he would seek a five-year, 150 million dollar contract this summer in free agency. Someone will end up paying the man his money. If it is not going to be New York, then they need to decide two things. Do we let him walk for nothing and who do we bring in to replace him?
New York has a few different avenues to explore if they feel that they want to move on from Rose. The first option that they have is through the draft. This is the deepest draft when it comes to point guards in recent memory. Freshmen like Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Dennis Smith Jr and DeAndre Fox will provide the NBA with star talent at that position for years to come. The problem is that those four players will likely be drafted within the first eight picks. The Knicks record has them currently sitting outside of the top ten.
The other option New York has when it comes to replacing Rose is through free agency. Players like Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Jeff Teague and Jrue Holiday will be hitting the open market this summer. Realistically, the Knicks will not have a shot with all of these players. Curry and Lowry will re-sign with their current teams. Paul may consider New York, but they need to pass on him due to his age. That leaves Teague and Holiday to try and acquire.
Once the New York Knicks decide what direction that they are headed in, they can address the dilemma that is Derrick Rose. The plan should be to prepare for the future. The Knicks need to get whatever they can for him before they let him walk in free agency.