January 20, 2021
NBA Rumors: Knicks Could Bring Back Derrick Rose For Package Centered On Dennis Smith Jr.

As injuries took their toll on his career, Derrick Rose made multiple stopovers after winning NBA MVP honors in 2011, including a one-year stint with the New York Knicks in 2016-17. According to a recently proposed trade idea, the Knicks could theoretically bring Rose back in a deal that would require them to part ways with one of their backup point guards, Dennis Smith Jr.

As pointed out on Tuesday by NBA Analysis Network, Rose has revitalized his career in recent seasons, bouncing back from his knee problems and putting up big numbers off the bench for the Detroit Pistons. However, the outlet suggested that the organization might eventually consider trading him for more young players and draft picks, given that they used their first-round pick in the 2020 draft on point guard Killian Hayes and that Rose is in the last year of his contract.

According to the outlet, the Knicks could, in theory, acquire Rose and a 2021 second-round pick from the Pistons for a package featuring Smith and a top five-protected first-rounder from the 2023 draft. This deal, as explained, could prove that New York is "on the right track to winning" in the 2020-21 campaign, thus potentially luring some of the top free agents to the Big Apple in the years to come. This would be in contrast to how elite talents such as Chris Paul — who was traded in the offseason to the Phoenix Suns — spurned the Knicks in the recent past because of their "lack of success."

"Having Derrick Rose be the leader of the team for now and help them win games proves to other big-name players around the NBA that the Knicks are finally legit and as a result, New York could land a couple [of] All-Star caliber players via trade or next offseason in free agency," the outlet predicted.

Derrick Rose, then playing for the New York Knicks, is defended by Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart.
Getty Images | Maddie Meyer

In 10 games so far this season, Rose has averaged 15.5 points, two rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game, according to Basketball-Reference. While these numbers represent a decline from his numbers in 2019-20, he has consistently scored in double figures since the 2018-19 campaign, which followed a rough 2017-18 where he averaged just 8.4 points in 16.8 minutes per contest while splitting time with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

As for the Pistons, NBA Analysis Network wrote that Smith would give the team an athletic and youthful playmaker as well as a future first-rounder, allowing them to address two of their needs as they continue their rebuilding process. Despite producing solidly in his first two seasons, Smith has been buried on the bench for most of his time with the Knicks and has seen action in only three games in 2020-21, according to his Basketball-Reference page. However, a move to Detroit could potentially help the 23-year-old bounce back and at least get more playing time as a second-stringer.