Detroit Pistons send Derrick Rose to New York for Dennis Smith Jr.

Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s official now; the Detroit Pistons are sending guard Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks in exchange for guard Dennis Smith Jr. and a second-round draft pick.

There had been speculation for a couple of weeks now that the Detroit Pistons had been actively shopping the former league MVP, Derrick Rose, now it’s official.  Rose had been held out of the Detroit lineup over the past couple of games due to personal reasons, aka, maintaining his health as he hoped to move elsewhere.

It’s really a no-brainer; Rose is in the midst of the final year of his two-year deal that averages just a touch over $7 million per season.  There is no need for a 32-year old guard on a rebuilding Detroit roster (post-trade deadline).

Rose heads to New York and will reunite with head coach Tom Thibodeau for the third time in his professional career.  Thibodeau had been Rose’s head coach in Chicago after his hometown team selected him first in the 2008 NBA Draft.

After averaging 18.1 points per game last season, Rose took a bit of a step back in 2020-21, averaging a mere 14.2 points, 4.2 assists, and 1.9 boards per game. Derrick is only shooting 43% from the field, down from 49% a year ago but is converting on 33% of his three-point attempts in 2021, which is up from 30% a year ago.

The Knicks are playing much better under Thibodeau than they have in years past.  In his first season with the Knicks, it’s apparent he is hoping to find a bit more offense adding Rose to likely insert into the starting lineup as an upgrade to Elfrid Payton.

It’s a move that needed to happen.  Rose wasn’t expected to re-sign in Detroit; the organization couldn’t risk losing him to free agency for nothing.

What are the Detroit Pistons getting in return for Derrick Rose?

This is more about the draft pick for the Detroit Pistons.  The organization is landing Charlotte’s second-round pick for the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft.

Dennis Smith Jr. is a 23-year old point guard who is a former ninth overall pick of the Dallas Mavericks.

After rarely finding any court time this season, Smith requested to be sent to the Knicks G-League team to secure some playing time.  I like that.  The kid would rather work on developing his game in the minors rather than ride the pine in the show.

Smith should see plenty of opportunities in Detroit behind Delon Wright, as rookie guard Killian Hayes remains on the mend, nursing his injured hip.  As a rookie, Smith averaged 15.2 points per game while shooting 31% from three.  Since then, it has been a steady decline, but Detroit will offer Smith an opportunity to right the ship similar to Josh Jackson.

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Smith’s rookie deal is set to expire at the conclusion of this season, so he does have plenty of motivation to show what he’s got not only to the Pistons but the rest of the league.