Detroit Pistons: Derrick Rose headed back to the Big Apple?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Derrick Rose isn’t quite having the season he did just a year ago, but after a slow start, the former league MVP is starting to find his groove once again.  The Detroit Pistons are expected to trade Rose at the deadline, and just maybe it’s to his former team, the New York Knicks.

We’re just a year removed from the Detroit Pistons veteran guard posting 18.1 points per game with 2.4 boards and 5.6 assists through 50 games.  The year prior, Rose also scored 18 per in 51 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where his beloved former coach during his prime years in Chicago, Tom Thibodeau, coaxed him to sign as a free agent.

Thibodeau is now the head coach in New York and perhaps would like to reunite with his favorite guard for the third time.

Over the past two years, it seemed like the 32-year old, Rose, felt at home in Detroit, leaving him a candidate to be re-signed, especially after the Pistons balked at trade offers last season.  Now, with newly appointed ‘wheelin and dealin’ General Manager Troy Weaver at the helm, the rebuilding Pistons may opt for a different approach.

Rose spent one season in New York back in 2016-17 averaging, you’ve guessed it, 18 points per game over 64 games.  The first go-around in New York (off of the court) was somewhat strange.  Rose left the team and was ‘unreachable’ for quite some time, leaving plenty of folks to worry about his well-being but went home for personal reasons.

In his book titled ‘I’ll show you’ with Sam Smith, Rose mentioned he was mentally exhausted and ready to quit basketball.

"I went to the crib with my mom. Everybody came over to the house to talk. That’s the first time, one of the few times, where we sat down as a whole family and had a serious discussion like that.I had decided I was done playing. I saw the same thing that was happening with the Bulls was going on with New York. I could tell that the season wasn’t going to be the season everyone thought, that I thought. I didn’t know if I wanted to hoop anymore. Especially when it started to feel like a business. Of course, you know it’s a business. They always say that. But you know it’s also hoopin’. But it had started to feel like all business, no joy. That’s when I wanted out. I wasn’t having fun."

The star had been through a lot and wasn’t exactly in a great place.  Also, at the time, Rose had been discouraged by New York not extending his one-year contract despite performing very well combined with the organization drafting point guard Frank Ntilikina.

Ironically, the often injured Ntilikina is currently the odd-man out of the Knicks rotation and could be a player added to the deal.  Detroit shouldn’t have any interest in a player-for-player deal that doesn’t have draft capital coming their way.

I still believe Derrick Rose is worth a first-round pick, and that should be a priority for Troy Weaver and the Detroit Pistons.

Although I completely understand that the rebuilding Pistons need to trade Rose, it still sucks to see such a prominent name likely on the move.  The Detroit Pistons don’t need an expiring contract such as Ntilikina as being suggested, Detroit needs draft picks, and let’s hope it’s a first-rounder.

The Knicks are hovering around .500 and won’t be keen on parting with their first-round pick. Detroit will certainly field other offers before making a decision; let’s hope a bidding-war breaks out.

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So far in 2020-21, Rose is averaging 14.8 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.2 boards per game in 23.8 minutes of work, pacing the second group but often used as a closer.  Rose is only shooting 43% from the field but 33% from beyond the arc.