Frank Ntilikina had been discussed between Knicks and Pistons in potential Derrick Rose trade

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Ian Begley
·3 min read
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Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose

Frank Ntilikina is one player who has come up in discussions between the Knicks and Pistons about a Derrick Rose trade, per SNY sources.

Ntilikina is in the final year of his rookie contract and will be a restricted free agent this season. He has been mostly out of the rotation this season, Tom Thibodeau’s first as head coach of the Knicks.

The Knicks have $18 million in cap space, so they could absorb Rose’s $7 million contract into that space. But New York needs to create a roster spot to add Rose.

So the club would need to send out a player in the trade or waive a player. Given that Ntilikina is in the final year of his contract, it’s reasonable to assume that Detroit would also want a draft pick in exchange for Rose.

The Knicks are unlikely to part with a first-round pick for Rose.

It will be interesting to see if other contenders make offers that surpass what the Knicks feel comfortable offering for Rose.

Some with the Pistons see Kevin Knox II as a target in a Rose deal, sources say. It is unknown if New York would be willing to part with Knox in a Rose deal. Knox is in the third year of his rookie contract; he has been out of the regular rotation recently.

PREVIOUS TALKS: Some with the Knicks felt that they were close on a trade for Rose during the offseason, per sources. Obviously, no deal came to fruition. But it supports the idea that some in the organization see Rose as a strong addition.

Thibodeau coached Rose in Chicago and Minnesota and remains fond of the former MVP.

Those in favor of a Rose trade feel that the guard can help New York continue to win games. The Knicks are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks, of course, traded for Rose in 2016 under then team president Phil Jackson; the move didn’t work out well for either side. The Knicks struggled on the court and Rose drew criticism for leaving the team prior to a game without explanation. New York opted against re-signing Rose.

Rose, 32, obviously is at a different point in his career now. He has talked about embracing his role as a mentor to young Pistons guard Killian Hayes.

WHAT ABOUT QUICKLEY? If New York trades for Rose, it will be interesting to see if that impacts minutes for rookie Immanuel Quickley. It seems unlikely that the Knicks would make the trade if it took minutes away from Quickley, a rookie who has exceeded expectations thus far.

Rose’s presence doesn’t necessarily have to take minutes away from Quickley. Quickley could enter the starting lineup or play off the ball. Moving Quickley off the ball could take minutes away from Austin Rivers.

If Quickley moved into the starting lineup, it would impact Elfrid Payton’s role. Payton, it’s worth noting, has a no-trade clause in his contract.

RE-SIGN ROSE? The Athletic reported that Detroit and Rose have agreed that it’s best to trade Rose at this point. When that happens, it’s usually a sign that a trade is forthcoming. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if a Rose deal was consummated in the near future.

If the Knicks acquire Rose, it’s reasonable to assume that they have plans to re-sign him. If New York trades for Rose, they will have his early bird rights. So they could sign him to a 2-4 year deal with a starting salary of up to 13.4 million. If they wanted to re-sign him to a one-year deal, they could do so for up to $9.2 million. New York projects to have significant cap space in the 2021 offseason.