Several teams monitoring the buyout market have an eye on Derrick Rose’s situation in New York, but it seems like the Knicks have little interest in losing Rose via buyout.
“He’s contributing in a major way to our team,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said after the Knicks’ blowout win over New Orleans on Saturday night.
A league source familiar with the matter said earlier this week that the door hadn’t been closed on the possibility of a buyout, as Bleacher Report noted. But even though the former MVP is out of New York’s rotation, Rose is still held in high regard by the organization.
As Thibodeau referenced, the Knicks value Rose’s veteran leadership; also, the club will be playing meaningful games for the rest of the regular season. If one of their guards gets hurt, the Knicks would need a veteran like Rose to fill in.
So for those reasons, they wouldn’t want to lose Rose via buyout. Would they appease the former MVP if he asked for a buyout? You’d think so. It would be strange for the Knicks to deny Rose the opportunity to play elsewhere. But Rose told reporters shortly after the trade deadline that he isn’t seeking a buyout.
He would need to sign with another team by March 1 to be eligible for the postseason.
If Rose changes his mind, several playoff teams see him as a player who can help them. Bleacher Report reported that the Phoenix Suns are among the teams who have interest in Rose. Rose also garnered interest from several teams at the trade deadline, including the Milwaukee Bucks.
Rose is still held in high regard at The Garden. The home crowd chanted his name late in the Knicks’ 22-point win over the Pelicans on Saturday. Thibodeau obliged, bringing Rose in with 2:21 to play.
The 34-year-old was rusty, missing all of his three-point attempts. He entered the game without his customary in-game routine. When he’s in the rotation, Rose rides a bike during games to stay warm. He wasn’t riding the bike before he took the court on Saturday.
“Obviously he wants to play but he needs a warm-up phase. But he wanted to get in, so we got him in,” Thibodeau said.
Julius Randle said Rose can “obviously” still play. That doesn’t seem like an empty statement from Randle.
Two years ago, Rose helped lift the Knicks to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. So it would be foolish to assume he can’t help a team at this point in his career. Even though he’s out of the rotation, Rose is still impacting the Knicks.
“I would argue that he’s having just as much if not more of an impact vocally as a leader for us. He’s constantly talking to me, giving me advice. His impact is huge,” Randle said. “….For a guy who has accomplished what he has, he’s the most selfless person that you can be. He has no ego and I’ve learned that from him, honestly.”