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Austin Rivers claims he heard before season Derrick Rose was coming to Knicks

Austin Rivers, Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau, Knicks

Derrick Rose didn’t play his first game with the 2020-21 New York Knicks until Feb. 9, after being acquired from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and a draft pick.

However, considering his history with Tom Thibodeau, he may have been destined to end up in The Big Apple long before the season began.

Rose has averaged 10.9 points in 21.3 minutes per game on 38.4 percent shooting in seven games with the Knicks, for whom he played in 2016-17. Of course, Rose has a long history with Thibodeau, having played for the hard-nosed coach with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.

As collateral damage, Rose’s arrival has curbed the playing time for fellow veteran combo guard Austin Rivers. The former Dukie — in his first season with the Knicks — has seen his minutes dramatically diminished since the former MVP re-joined the orange and blue and now finds himself out of Thibodeau’s rotation.

The nine-year veteran has appeared in two games, totaling about five minutes, since Rose’s first Knicks appearance.

Rivers isn’t exactly thrilled about his reduced role. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, he opened up about the impact of the Rose acquisition, which he claims to have been hearing about since before he played his first game with the Knicks.

“I had already kind of heard stuff even before the season started that he was going to be coming,” he said, via The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov. “When they had told me that he’s coming I said OK and obviously there’s been stuff about me moved to other places.”

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, Rivers said the Knicks organization talked to him about a potential role change following the Rose pick-up, which has placed Rivers back on the trading block ahead of the March 25 deadline.

Rivers added that while his current role is “unfortunate,” his “enthusiasm” for New York and his team still remains.

At 15-17, the surprisingly frisky Knicks currently hold the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, led by first-time All-Star Julius Randle.

Rivers is in the first season of a three-year, $10 million contract. The final two years are non-guaranteed.