Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks have a difficult decision on their hands. Do they or do they not re-sign Derrick Rose?
This then begs the question, “Do the Knicks re-sign Rose, or let him walk?”
The Knicks acquired Derrick Rose in late June and he seemed to be the player Knicks fans had long desired. It seemed in the beginning that the experiment was a success, but once the Knicks began their monumental slide Rose was used as somewhat of a scapegoat. Consequently, the Knicks looked to deal Rose at the deadline but were unsuccessful.
The decision whether to bring back Rose is a difficult one. They could bring him back within budget along with his flaws or risk either seriously overpaying someone in free agency or simply bombing put. Here are the pros and cons to re-signing the three-time All-Star:
Penetration / Scoring
Derrick Rose is the most talented point guard offensively the Knicks have had since the 1990s, arguably. His main talent on the offensive end is his ability to put the ball in the bucket, namely at the basket. Rose’s 17.8 points per game is the highest scoring mark by a Knicks point guard over a single season since Stephon Marbury’s 21.7 points in the 2004-05 season. It has been quite the scoring drought from the point guard position.
Derrick Rose is currently averaging 10.03 points per game from within the paint, which is again the highest since Marbury’s 2005 season. That is more than half of Rose’s points which comes from within the painted area and what makes it more impressive is that 55 percent of his shot attempts come from this range which demonstrates how frequently he gets into the paint. The former league MVP is also converting on 68.1 percent of his driving layups in which he has made a total of 124 driving layups.
The 28-year-old Rose also has a decent mid-range shot which has been falling at a rate of 57 percent since the All-Star break and 47.9 percent on the year overall. Over the course of the season, Rose has shown that if opposing defenses cut off his drives to the basket that he is more than capable of stopping on a dime or pulling back and knocking down a mid-range jumper.
Derrick Rose has been endlessly mocked for the past five years since suffering his first major knee injury. However, the three-time NBA All-Star no longer deserves this. In the 2015-16 season, Rose appeared in 66 games and of the sixteen he missed none of them were due to knee injuries. Moreover, this season Rose has played in 61 of the Knicks 70 games and again, none of the absences have been knee-related.
The former Bull has put his injury-plagued years behind him and once again proved his durability. Rose’s injury concerns are no more and should no longer be part of the discussion or involved in the deliberating process.
Further to this, if the Knicks were to let Rose walk to of their primary targets would be players whom currently have a recent history of injuries. Chris Paul has missed 20 games this season, was ruled out of last year’s playoffs and another 20 in the 2013-14 season. In addition to this, Jrue Holiday has missed 15 games this season, 17 last season, 42 in 2014-15 and a whopping 48 in his first year with the Pelicans.
In the trade in which the New York Knicks acquired Derrick Rose, they also acquired his bird rights which could profoundly impact New York’s free agency plans. Rose will make 21.3 million dollars this season and that comes off the books at season’s end. Therefore, the Knicks will have that money to play with during the free agency period as well as whatever extra money is added from the rising salary cap.
Overall, the Knicks will have plenty of paper to throw around, but Rose’s bird rights enables the Knicks to spend that money and to then re-sign Rose despite being over or exceeding the salary cap in the process.
The main knock on Derrick Rose this season has been his passing, or lack thereof. You cannot, however, blame Rose. The Knicks knew exactly what they were getting. A score-first guard who doesn’t necessarily take pride in getting others involved. The area where Rose seems to frustrate the fanbase the most is on his drives to the basket. The three-time All-Star gets into the lane at will but he only has a 6.3 assist percentage on drives which is worse than Rockets’ guard, Lou Williams. Basically, he passes less on his drives than a player who’s sole goal is to score.
In addition to this, Rose struggles to find the open man in the pick-and-roll. Occasionally Rose will find the roll man but it is usually very late when the defense has made the rotations to cover it. The 28-year-old routinely fails to find Kristaps Porzingis popping out to the three-point line or Carmelo Anthony rolling and fading for a mid-range jumper.
Again, this is not the fault of Derrick Rose but simply he just does not fit with the other core players on the roster. Yes, Rose does have the rare game where he will pile up seven-plus assists but those games are few and far between and the consistency with his passing just isn’t there like it is with his finishes at the basket.
The Knicks as a unit have been atrocious defensively and like their season in general, the consistency hasn’t been there. In saying this, though, Derrick Rose can be partially blamed as it begins with his position. Rose frequently gets blown by which then forces the defense to collapse as a result of his initial mistake. The former Bull loses focus far too often on the defensive end or is caught up in a missed call from the other end.
An aspect of defense which will not appear on the stat sheet is how hard you fight over screens or how many screens you attempt to do so. Rose displays a severe lack of effort in this area and this causes unnecessary switches which as you would expect, results in easy baskets for the opposition.
Aside from fighting over screens or through them, Rose frequently just ducks under which is highlighted in his 48.3 percent defensive field goal percentage on mid to deep two-point field goals. Moreover, in at attempt to recover from going under the screen Rose will often rush his opponent who will then just blow straight past him which is so clearly indicated in his opponents converting 67 percent of their chances wishing six feet of the basket.
The New York Knicks will have in excess of 20 million dollars in salary cap space to spend during the free agency period. Before this, however, will be the NBA Draft in which the Knicks, for once, hold their own pick. As of right now the Knicks have a top-seven pick and could possibly get as high as the fourth overall selection.
The Knicks draft selection could have bearing on the decision whether to re-sign Rose or not. The 2017 NBA Draft is absolutely stockpiled with talent and especially so at the point guard position. The likes of North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr. Kentucky’s De’aaron Fox and Malik Monk, as well as international prospect Frank Nitilikina, are all touted to be available when the Knicks hit the clock.
Aside from the draft and the chance to go young and rebuild, the free agent market also has its fair share of point guard talent. The rumors of Jrue Holiday teaming up with brother Justin in New York have already made the rounds and the speculation of Chris Paul joining Carmelo Anthony has been in the air for years. Further to this the likes of pass first point guard, Jeff Teague is available as well as savvy veterans in George Hill and Patty Mills who are likely to cost less.
At the end of the day, Derrick Rose holds his fate in his own hands. It ultimately isn’t up to the Knicks whether he stays or not as he is sure to draw interest from around the league but as has been said the NBA is a business through and through and New York is the place where he can make the most money.