The Detroit Pistons have traded former NBA MVP and All-Star Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, where he spent one season, in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second-round draft pick via Charlotte. Rose returns to the Big Apple, where he spent a rough 2016-17 season while averaging 18.0 points.
While the deal has been agreed to in principle since Sunday, the trade was finalized Monday morning.
The Knicks, who for the first time in a long time are looking like playoff hopefuls, desperately get a solid point guard in Rose who can not only still play well, but can provide locker room experience.
With the trade, Rose is reuniting with head coach Tom Thibodeau, for whom he played for six seasons as a member (and franchise player) of the Chicago Bulls, and again for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2017-18 season in what was that franchise’s first playoff appearance since the 2003-04 season.
Thibodeau has seemed to be the difference maker in New York City, with the team sitting at the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. Detroit, who is going through a rebuilding phase, are last in the league with a 5-18 record; however, they have had some impressive wins this season, such as beating the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers.
Smith was assigned to the Knicks’ G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, before being traded to Motor City. A lottery pick in the 2017 NBA draft out of North Carolina State University, Smith has averaged 12.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks.