Derrick Rose is quite the conundrum to many. As the Rookie of the Year recipient for the 2008/2009 regular season, things got off to about as good a start as it gets for the point guard. Add to this an MVP season in 2010/2011, during which Derrick Rose averaged 25.0 points per game, 7.7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds en route to leading his Chicago Bulls to a league-best 62 wins, and you can certainly make the argument that those numbers deserve the payout of a max contract — except, we are no longer talking about the same Derrick Rose.
As of the 2016/2017 regular season, Derrick Rose is averaging 17.5 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per contest for the New York Knicks, according to ESPN. Having said that, there are also other intangibles to consider that have absolutely nothing to do with the box score. Although Rose has experienced something of a resurgence this year with the Knicks, overall, he is nowhere near the explosive, fearless player that he used to be. At 28-years-old, he is still relatively young on paper, but in playing years (and overall wear and tear on mind and body), Derrick Rose has aged considerably.
Still, according to SB Nation, this hasn’t deterred the one-time MVP from wanting to seek a max contract worth $150 million. It isn’t a stretch to say that the New York Knicks took a gamble on the often-injured Derrick Rose when they signed him (along with his $21.5 million expiring contract). The Knicks were looking to put veteran pieces around their budding superstar Kristaps Porzingis, however, that experiment has only seen moderate success so far this season, as the Knicks currently occupy the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference, with a 17-22 record at the time of this writing.
While it provided fans with a bit of nostalgia to see Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah teaming up again (this time in different uniforms), both players have succumbed to father time and are no longer putting up the numbers they once did. Hypothetically, the team could string together a few wins and see themselves in the playoff picture, but they wouldn’t stand much of a chance against top-tier teams in the East like the Cleveland Cavaliers or Toronto Raptors.
Even if Derrick Rose is attempting to cash in on the talent of his 21-year-old self that his 28-year-old self can’t deliver out on the floor, there’s still the lingering question of whether he even makes it out onto the floor at all (and for how long). According to ESPN writer Ian Begley, Derrick Rose is eyeing a five-year deal worth $150 million. Even if the New York Knicks did decide to agree to these terms, doing so would leave them with almost no cap space moving forward. Even if you take into account the projected climb (again) of the salary cap this summer, unless Derrick Rose starts putting up MVP numbers overnight, the New York Knicks would be better suited taking their money and investing it elsewhere.
If the New York front office has any doubts or ideas about putting all of their eggs in the Derrick Rose basket, they need only look to the Chicago Bulls to be reminded of how well signing Derrick Rose to a max contract worked out for them. That said, however, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Knickerbockers or their fans. Kristaps Porzingis is the one bright spot to come out of some dark years for the franchise. The New York Knicks have survived Eddie Curry, Amare Stoudemire, Isiah Thomas, and a declining Carmelo Anthony who’d given his best years to the Denver Nuggets. So, too, will Knicks Nation survive Derrick Rose.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]