With hopes of returning to the playoffs, the New York Knicks are scouring the market to improve on an 8-7 start, making some current players expendable. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Knicks have “shown a willingness to discuss” trades involving some guards, including Derrick Rose.
Despite being in the rotation and playing in all 15 games so far this season, the veteran has the smallest role he's ever had in the NBA. Coming off the bench, Rose is averaging just 6.7 points, 2.3 assists and 1.7 rebounds while playing 13.5 minutes a night.
At age 34 and with multiple injuries in his past, Rose is far from the peak form that won him MVP in 2011. Still, he has found a place in the league many times, and may have to again as trade rumors heat up.
With that being said, here are the three best destinations for Derrick Rose if the Knicks trade him away.
The Dallas Mavericks failed to find a playmaking replacement after losing Jalen Brunson to the Knicks in free agency. So far, star Luka Dončić is the clear leader. To fill Brunson's starting role, Spencer Dinwiddie stepped up. The problem is that moving Dinwiddie to the starting five weakens the rotation.
Dallas does not have a clear backup point guard in the rotation. Tim Hardaway Jr. averages just 1.9 assists for his career. Frank Ntilikina has only appeared in two games this season. Facundo Campazzo, who the Mavericks signed to add depth at guard, has failed to impress. The Argentinian has played in only four games, averaging 1.5 points and shooting 18.2% from the field.
Rose could be the backup point guard the Mavericks are struggling to find. His experience would certainly help on the court, and he could also serve as a mentor for Dončić and other young players.
Hitting only 32% from long-range, New York is one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league. As a result, a potential trade involving Rose and Dāvis Bertāns could be a win-win move.
Rose would improve the playmaking on the bench for Dallas as the team competes for a title, while Bertāns, who has played in just one game this season due to an injury, would make the Knicks far more dangerous from deep.
Another team that could benefit from adding Rose is the New Orleans Pelicans. While they do have some good options at the guard position, the former MVP could still help the Pelicans this season.
New Orleans is playing C.J. McCollum as the starting point guard, with Devonte' Graham and Jose Alvarado playing off the bench. While Alvarado surprised the NBA with his solid defense as a rookie and is shooting well from three this season, Graham still needs to prove he's a worthy NBA rotation player.
The former Charlotte Hornet is averaging only 4.7 points in 15.4 minutes per game. Notably, he is shooting 38.6% from the field, the worst among players in New Orleans' rotation.
Since the Pelicans already have a defensive-minded guard in Alvarado, bringing Rose in could improve their scoring. Also, his playoff résumé could help the team as it has many young players with little to no postseason experience.
If the Pelicans do not want to part ways with Graham, they could maybe include the salaries of Garrett Temple and Willy Hernangómez in the deal. At most, the only young piece they would trade away to New York is Kira Lewis Jr. The team's 2020 lottery draft pick is dealing with injuries, failing to crack the rotation when healthy.
A trade with Rose and Lewis helps the Pelicans' win-now mode, while it gives the Knicks a project they could develop.
After making a blockbuster trade to acquire Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs, it seems the Atlanta Hawks are the real deal. The team is 9-6 and third in the Eastern Conference. The Murray and Trae Young duo seems to be the backcourt of the present and future in Atlanta.
Still, the Hawks might need to improve the bench if they have championship aspirations. Rose could potentially replace Aaron Holiday, for instance, as the team's third ball handler behind Young and Murray, giving Atlanta some much-needed scoring punch in reserve uits.
It would be difficult to make a deal between the Knicks and the Hawks work, probably requiring multiple players from both sides for salary-matching purposes. Also, since Atlanta is reportedly shopping John Collins, Rose could be part of a larger deal to bring the power forward to New York or another team in a potential three-team trade.