The New York Knicks have finished well below .500 nearly every season since their last playoff appearance in the 2012-2013 season. Sitting at 11-14, the Knicks are showing improvement and currently 8th in the Eastern Conference. They should continue to improve with the return of veteran Derrick Rose, who played for the Knicks in the 2016-2017 season.
Rose will reunite with head former head coach Tom Thibodeau. It has been reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that the Pistons traded Dennis Smith Jr and a 2012 second-round draft pick in exchange for the 32-year-old Rose. The trade came as a mutual agreement between Rose and the Pistons. Numerous teams were interested in the services of Rose, including top contender Los Angeles Clippers.
The addition of Rose provides veteran leadership in the backcourt that includes Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock, Austin Rivers, and Immanuel Quickley. Payton and Bullock are the starters and average a combined 21 points, 7.5 rebounds and five assists. Rivers is averaging eight points in 23 minutes per game, while Quickley has provided 12 points in only 19 minutes per game.
Rose comes in with a resume that includes three All-Star appearances, Rookie of the Year, 2010-2011 MVP and 611 games of NBA experience. He missed all of 2012-2013 with an ACL injury but returned remarkably and continues to be a solid contributor into his 30s.
Smith averaged nearly 14 points per game over his first two NBA seasons, but saw his playing time and production dwindle since. He averaged 5.5 points in 21 minutes per game last season and has played only 28 minutes in three games this season. He will get a fresh start in Detroit, a team that has the worst record in the NBA. Smith and the 2021 draft pick will ultimately be pieces of the continued rebuilding process to get the Pistons back to respectability.