How the Derrick Rose Trade Impacts the Knicks and Bulls
The 2016 NBA Draft has already been eventful, and it hasn’t even started.
Almost two years ago, the Cavaliers traded Andrew Wiggins, the recent number-one overall pick to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love. Today, in the first truly huge trade of the draft season, Derrick Rose becomes the next former number-one pick to be traded.
By all accounts, this trade would have been unthinkable when Rose was the youngest MVP in NBA history, but after a season where Rose was nearly the most inefficient player in the league, the Bulls have decided it’s time to cut bait on the former MVP.
Rose’s career success with Chicago can’t be understated. He helped carry the 2010-11 team to the Eastern Conference Finals the same year he won MVP. He also was Rookie of the Year and a three-time All Star.
However, Rose has been hampered by several different injuries, including multiple surgeries on both knees ever since his MVP season. Games missed due to injury is the overarching theme of his career in the NBA to date, but the other is his steep statistical declines over the last three seasons.
Rose in Decline
Rose’s True Shooting Percentage has been below 50 percent for three straight seasons, his Offensive Rating dropped to 97 or worse in the last three seasons, and in 2015-16, he owned a nERD of -8.4, which was the fourth-worst rating of any player last season.
Oh, and he has only played in 166 of a possible 328 games in the last four seasons due to injury.
At times, he looked like the Rose of old, yet other times, he looked like a permanently broken piece of his former self.
He was once thought of as the next transcendent player to succeed Michael Jordan in Chicago and lead the Bulls back to greatness. However, after seven seasons the Bulls have traded him in what looks like a potentially lopsided deal.
Lopez is easily the centerpiece of the deal, which once again feels a little weird to say. On the injury side, Lopez is nearly the opposite of Rose. He has played in all 82 games in three of the last four seasons, and he is coming off a solid first season in New York. His True Shooting was 57.4 percent, and on shots within 10 feet, he easily shot a career high at 52.9 percent last year.
Lopez being a part of the deal also might symbol indirectly that the Joakim Noah era is over in Chicago at the same exact time as the Rose era ends. These are truly strange and unnerving times in Bulls basketball.
However, while Lopez is the piece of the deal that will start paying off now, Grant is a young point guard who might end up being the best part of the deal for Chicago. Grant was the 19th pick in the 2015 draft and was a successful player at Notre Dame.
In Grant’s junior year he was dismissed from Notre Dame for academics after 12 games. He was averaging 19.0 points and posting an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 59 percent that year. He got to come back and finish at Notre Dame in the 2014-15 season, and in his rookie campaign last year, his per-36-minute numbers were solid at 12.1 points, 5.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds.
If he develops into a starting point guard or better down the line, the Bulls got more for Rose than they likely imagined.
The Bulls are also now officially Jimmy Butler's team. With Rose gone, the two-way monster can only build on his two excellent seasons as the Bulls’ main option offensively.
Big Three in NYC?
On the other side of things, the Knicks now have an intriguing trio. It may not end up being a “Big Three,” but a team that starts Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Rose is a formidable force in the Eastern Conference if Rose is healthy and producing closer to MVP Rose than 2015-16 Rose.
Last year, Rose did play in 66 games, which was his highest total since his MVP season. He posted a respectable 16.4 points and 4.7 assists per game, and he also shot 47.6 percent between 10 and 16 feet last season, showing that his midrange game is starting to round back into form.
However, he has never had a season with an Effective Field Goal Percentage of more than 49.5 percent, so expectations likely need to be tempered for Rose to be the missing piece of the championship puzzle in New York. But things could also improve for Rose if he is healthy and not having to be the number-one or even the number-two option offensively in New York.
With Rose's and Anthony's contracts, the Knicks are in an interesting spot with the salary cap to say the least, as each account for at least 22% of the team's salary cap.
They also just got worse in defense and rebounding without Lopez, two areas they were below league average in already. They will need to spend what money they have wisely this summer.
|New York Knicks||48.3 (28th)||23.7 (18th)||48.7 (8th)||75.8 (18th)|
Putting It Together
Times truly are changing in Chicago and New York. A fresh start in the Big Apple might be what Rose needs to return to as close to MVP form as possible.
Maybe Grant turns into a really good point guard and in the end the deal looks better for Chicago than it does today.
However, while it might take several years for this trade to be fully understood or graded, what’s clear is that after a drama-filled and emotionally rocky career in Chicago, the Rose era has come to an end in the Windy City for pennies on the dollar.