Knicks don't kill my vibe
Don't trade for Derrick Rose
The 2020-21 New York Knicks are actually somewhat enjoyable to watch. I swear! They play hard. They have some cool, fun players. Julius Randle is deservingly in the All-Star mix. R.J. Barrett has taken a decisive step forward. Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel just keep blocking shots. Austin Rivers is doing Austin Rivers things. Immanuel Quickley looks like the steal of the 2020 draft, and one of the best rookies in the league, regardless of draft slot. They’re even cultivating some good vibes by just being normal, playing hard, and not doing anything dumb yet.
Naturally, the Knicks want to react to all this by … trading for Derrick Rose, for some reason. This is just an incredibly bad idea, and would be an extremely discouraging sign from a front office that has actually looked fairly competent in its first year on the job.
Does New York need an upgrade at point guard? Probably. Elfrid Payton has not played particularly well this season, and it seems unlikely that he will suddenly become a different player than he has been throughout his career. Luckily for the Knicks, there is a rather easy solution to that problem already on the roster: Play Quickley more! After the best five-game stretch of his career, he has for some reason played just 26 minutes in New York’s last two games. Just get him on the floor more often.
The Knicks have outscored their opponents by 39 points with Quickley, Randle, and Barrett on the floor together. That’s quite good! Unfortunately, they’ve only shared the floor for 119 minutes. That’s about 6 minutes per game. Meanwhile, they have been outscored by 18 points in 580 minutes with Payton, Randle, and Barrett sharing the floor. That trio averages around 24 minutes per game. If the performance of the point guard + two-best-players minutes is an issue for the Knicks, a readymade fix is staring them right in the face.
Bringing in Rose, who is 32 years old, has knee issues, has shown himself to be unreliable off the floor, dealt with sexual assault allegations the last time he was with the Knicks (and dealing for him despite those would show the Knicks still do not take issues of violence against women seriously), would not help their defense, and is not even playing all that well offensively this season (he’s shooting 43 percent from the field and 33 percent from three — not much better than Payton), just does not make sense. It does not matter how much affinity Tom Thibodeau has for him. That actually might make it worse, because he could be inclined to give minutes to Rose over Quickley, whose development should be one of the team’s top two or three priorities at this point.
One might rationalize the interest by saying Rose will help them make the playoffs, but A. they've lost 10 of their last 15 games; and B. there is not much evidence the 2020-21 version of Rose is a helpful player.