One quick swoop by Phil Jackson and company made the New York Knicks instant contenders in the East. The addition of point guard Derrick Rose formed the new Knicks big three and has open the flood gates for big-name free agents to consider playing for New York.
The basketball world was caught off guard Wednesday when initial reports of Derrick Rose being dealt to the Knicks flooded the airwaves and social media. Many NBA fans, especially in Chicago, thought the blockbuster trade was just a hoax. As it turned out, the reports were accurate and the trade has already been made.
According to ESPN, the Knicks recently acquired Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round draft pick from the Chicago Bulls. In exchange, the Illinois-based team got Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant.
“This is an exciting day for New York and our fans,” said newly-hired Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek, who will have the Knicks big three at his disposal in his first season in the Big Apple “Derrick is one of the top point guards in the NBA who is playoff-battle-tested.”
Hornacek’s presumption is not a misguided one. While Rose isn’t the MVP-caliber player he once was, he still averaged 16.4 points and 4.7 assists last season, as per NBA.com. the 2015-16 campaign was Rose’s first full season after recovering from debilitating knee injuries.
Aches and all, Rose is a player who could still explode for 30 points at any given night. Defenses will now have to contend with two offensive juggernauts in Rose and Carmelo Anthony. They’ll also have to deal with 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis.
CBS Sports noted that the acquisition of Rose is only the beginning of the team’s offseason rebuild. With Rose now in the Garden, several free agents may now look to join the Knicks big three this summer. Some of the names being tossed around are Joakim Noah, Paul Gasol and Dwight Howard.