Former Pistons Star Derrick Rose is Given a Chance at Playoffs with a Trade


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Derrick Rose helps the Knicks win against the Houston Rockets in his third game with his new team this season.

Ethan Vavrick, Staff Writer

Detroit Pistons point guard Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks on February 7th for Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second round pick. Although the Pistons gave up one of their best players in Rose, they got a young talent and a pick that can help the team in the coming years. This trade makes sense for both teams, as the Knicks are predicted to be a playoff team and the Pistons are looking to rebuild and rely on future draft picks.

Dennis Smith Jr is warming up for a game against the Sacramento Kings while playing for the Knicks. ( Sergio Estrada – USA TODAY Sports)

Derrick Rose signed a two year deal worth 15 million dollars with the Detroit Pistons during the summer of 2019. The former MVP immediately became a fan favorite on the team averaging 18.1 points per game in 2019 and being in the conversation for winning the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. Despite his success with the Pistons, he is 32 years old and has a rough injury history, which is the reason he was only averaging 22.8 minutes per game with the Pistons this year. Rose didn’t have much use on a rebuilding team like the Pistons, so he made it clear to Pistons head coach Dwane Casey that he wanted to be traded. On SiriusXM NBA Radio, Dwane Casey describes a conversation he had with Rose days before the trade.

He was upfront and honest. ‘Coach, I’ve only got so many miles left in my legs. I want to make sure I go to a situation where I may have a chance to make the playoffs this year. I know where you guys are, rebuilding and retooling. And I just want to go where they have a chance to make the playoffs.’”

The Knicks are currently the seventh seed in the eastern conference meaning that they are projected to make the playoffs. With the addition of Rose, they have a good chance at improving their record before the playoffs and sneaking in. Rose is also reuniting with his former coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Derrick Rose during his MVP season on the Chicago Bulls during the 2010-2011 season. This could also be a reason the Knicks traded for Rose.

The player the Pistons got in return, Dennis Smith Jr, was thrilled to be given a new chance in Detroit.

“I was super excited, I was super excited,” Smith said. “I was down in the G (League) and I was getting ready to play with the guys and have our first scrimmage, and I heard the news and I was just smiling all day. Super excited, couldn’t really sleep that night and I’m just looking at it as an opportunity… I’m going to make the most out of it.”

Drafted ninth overall in 2017, Smith showed that he had the potential to be something special in the NBA right out of college. The Mavericks, who drafted him, moved on from the young point guard in a trade with the Knicks during the 2018 season. His minutes while playing decreased over time, and got to the point where he asked to play for the Knicks G League team for more minutes just days before the trade went down. Smith is only 23 years old and has not been given much of an opportunity with the Knicks. With a rebuilding team like the pistons, it makes sense that they would take a chance on Smith, and get a second round pick as well.