From Windy City to Big Apple
Chicago makes a ridiculous trade to ship former MVP Derrick Rose to New York. The hometown kid enters the final year of his contract, which made him a prime candidate to get traded, financially. The deal also includes versatile wing Justin Holiday, and a 2nd round pick that gets the Knicks into tomorrow night’s draft. Holiday has a bright future in this league, he has really made strides and was a tough player to sub for because he does a little bit of everything.
This is a great move for the Knicks, who get to evaluate Rose for one season without committing to him long-term. It wasn’t a very high price to pay, even if Rose were to walk away next summer as they trade 34-year-old point guard Jose Calderon, sophomore guard Jerian Grant, and big man Robin Lopez. Instantly, you would think that Calderon would be a candidate to buy out his contract, but who knows with Chicago? Grant received Reggie Jackson comparisons as a prospect in last year’s draft. So, you’re telling me that the Bulls are rolling with Lopez as their replacement for free agent Joakim Noah. Beware, most sequels are extremely disappointing. Chicago will now move on without franchise cornerstone Rose, Noah, and Pau Gasol is on his way out as well.
A lot of people are over Rose because of multiple knee injuries. Ask the guy you see at the gym wearing a knee brace how he feels? There are people in my life that injured their knee in their late teens and early 20s, but for the rest of their lives it’s going to strain them to hike or discourage them from indoor rock climbing. Rose is back on the court, started last season with vision issues, and the first season back from a major injury is usually about regaining trust in your body, regaining rhythm with your skills, blending in with teammates again, conditioning and recovering. It’s a lot, let alone to play basketball routinely again, and at the NBA level on top of all that. You may not like what he says in interviews, but it’s likely the NY media will be very optimistic and give him a chance to start fresh with them. The guy on the court that put so much work into his game is getting a chance that he deserves from the Knicks.
Hell, the Knicks should be ecstatic. Phil Jackson used to coach Gasol. Rose recently played with Gasol. I doubt that New York was a legitimate option to Gasol before, but now, there’s really only one team to go through in the eastern conference. If not Gasol, then at least they are a more desirable destination than they were 30 seconds ago. Congratulations Knicks fans, I believe you to be a playoff team in 2016.
Well, it appears that we have come to a conclusion to the Rose an Jimmy Butler storyline. If I were the Bulls, and I realize I am in the minority here, I would have wanted the two stars to have a healthy offseason together and see how the offense evolves. The potential was just too high, to me at least, not to give it a chance. On paper, they are an elite back court. They’re used to winning and making he postseason. This front office has been terrible and I’ve been hypercritical of them since they were too afraid to pull off a trade or unsuccessful in adding help when Rose was the MVP and Tom Thibodeau was still the coach. Before the injuries, before the relationship between Thibs and the front office went sour, before the front office fired Thibs’ assistant coach, before Butler became the Most Improved Player and all-star. Since Butler became a star and Rose got healthy again, they never had an offseason to gel together.
Maybe the Bulls figured, hometown hero or not, that Rose has one year left and he is coming off a healthy season so this is their only chance to trade him. As far as value goes, Knicks won this in a landslide. I hate it for Chicago but love it for New York. Rose joins the talented front court of Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Melo is an elite scorer, an all-star, has played for Team USA. and he almost joined the Bulls as a free agent. The 7’3 Porzingis was the runner-up to Karl Anthony-Towns for the Rookie of the Year award. Whether new coach Jeff Hornacek will run the triangle offense or not, he certainly has a big 3 to work with. The pick & rolls or pick & pops that this trio will be able to do is going to be a headache to defend. Plus, the Knicks got another thing they were hoping to get, a pick in this draft.
It’s never a good thing when a team loses three starters. The only guys that remain are Butler and Mike Dunleavy. There are prospects that they want to give more playing time to Doug McDermott, Niko Mirotic, Bobby Portis, and Cristiano Felicio. The thing with those players is that they’re all forwards, with the exception of Felicio at center. Are the Bulls really trying to emulate the Boston Celtics and Brad Stevens? Good luck with that Fred Hoiberg, the Celtics have been desperate to acquire a star player, even offering the 3rd pick in the draft.
Best case scenario, Butler guides the Bulls in Damian Lilliard-like fashion to the postseason after Portland lost 4 starters last summer. It wasn’t all Lilliard, as he got a big hand from C.J. McCollum, the 2016 Most Improved Player. If Chicago doesn’t have a second and a third guy step up, they better hope that their 14th pick in the draft can play in the rotation right away. I just don’t like the front office moves that have severed relationships with Thibs, Rose, Noah, and Gasol. Apparently, neither do the big name free agents over the years with the exception of Gasol. I can totally see what Gasol saw in the Bulls, but like him, looks were deceiving for life after Thibs.