The New York Knicks have acquired Derrick Rose, reuniting him with coach Tom Thibodeau for the third time, in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second-round pick (via Charlotte), according to multiple reports.
HoopsHype spoke with four NBA scouts about their reaction to the trade and what it means for New York’s playoff chances and the development of rookie guard Immanuel Quickley.
“I like it,” a scout for an Eastern Conference team told HoopsHype. “Rose is one of coach Thibs’ favorites. They have been good matches for winning. It won’t affect Quickley much because he can play both guard spots. They won’t stunt his development, and the Knicks won’t fall out of the top ten.”
Thibodeau and Rose made it to the Eastern Conference Finals together in Chicago, and during the 2017-18 season, the duo helped Minnesota reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
“I think Quickley fits well with Rose,” another scout for an Eastern Conference team told HoopsHype. “He’s a good off-the-ball shooter, and it takes a little of the pressure off as teams build their scouting report on him.”
Knicks forward Taj Gibson, who will also reunite with Rose and Thibodeau for a third stint, agreed with the first two scouts and believes the former All-Star guard will help.
“Being back around familiar faces, he’d be a great attribute to us as far as helping a lot of the young guys and just helping the team atmosphere,” Gibson said.
However, other scouts are concerned Thibodeau will rely on Rose to close games instead of Quickley, who is regarded as a better shooter and ranks second on the Knicks in player efficiency rating (18.89).
“It’s a double-edged sword,” a longtime NBA scout told HoopsHype. “It’s going to affect Quickley’s minutes some, but he’s a rookie that can’t get too many and has still shown production. Rose can teach him some things which those other guards couldn’t. I think it’s a good thing. Smith wasn’t going to help.”
“I don’t understand why can’t they be patient, develop, and build?” one veteran scout for a Western Conference team told HoopsHype. “I’m not in love with the move. He is a Thibs guy, so that helps in the locker room. I’m just worried he would take minutes away from developing the guys who will be there when they are ready to compete. He is an upgrade, and they want to make the playoffs.”
Coincidently, when asked before Sunday’s game against the Heat if his reputation for being hesitant to give young players minutes was fair, Thibodeau replied, “Derrick Rose is the youngest MVP in the history of the league, so I don’t worry about that stuff.”
Should the Knicks fall out of playoff contention, they can trade Rose, who has Early Bird Rights. A contending team over the cap heading into the offseason could find him appealing as the trade deadline nears at the end of March as more than a short-term asset.
You can follow Michael Scotto on Twitter: @MikeAScotto